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Companies given 3-month extension period to file accounts during COVID-19

Companies will be given an additional 3 months to file accounts with Companies House to help companies avoid penalties as they deal with the impact of COVID-19.

Businesses will be able to apply for a 3-month extension for filing their accounts and therefore, mean businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus.

There are approximately 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register, and all companies must submit their accounts and reports each year. Under normal circumstances, companies that file accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

As part of the agreed measures, while companies will still have to apply for the 3-month extension to be granted, those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension. Applications can be made through a fast-tracked online system which will take just 15 minutes to complete.

The application process is quick and easy. Companies should simply cite COVID-19 or Health matters as the grounds for their application

  • If your accounts will be late because your company is affected by coronavirus, and your filing deadline has not yet passed, you can apply for an automatic and immediate 3-month extension to file your accounts.
  • companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period may be ineligible for an extension
  • full guidance on applying for an extension – gov.uk/ch/extend-accounts-deadline
  • this policy will be kept under review and amended as necessary according to the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic