What if there is delay or non-filing?

After the end of its financial year, your private limited company must prepare:

The table below provides the details of deadline for different filings:



File first accounts with Companies House

21 months after the date you registered with Companies House

File annual accounts with Companies House

9 months after your company’s financial year ends

Pay Corporation Tax or tell HMRC that your limited company does not owe any

9 months and 1 day after your ‘accounting period’ for Corporation Tax ends

File a Company Tax Return

12 months after your accounting period for Corporation Tax ends

Late filing penalty fees

Failure to deliver accounts on time is a criminal offence. In addition, the law imposes a civil penalty for late filing of accounts on the company. The amount of the penalty depends on how late the accounts arrive and whether the company is private or public at the date of the balance sheet, as shown in the table below:

Length of period

Private Company

Public Company

Not more than 1 month



More than 1 month but not more than 3 months



More than 3 months but not more than 6 months



More than 6 months



The penalties will be doubled if a company files its accounts late in 2 successive financial years.

Consequences of not filing

Failure to file confirmation statements, annual returns or accounts is a criminal offence which can result in directors being fined personally in the criminal courts. Failure to pay the late filing penalty can result in enforcement proceedings. Any criminal proceedings taken as a result of non-filing of confirmation statements, annual returns or accounts is separate from, and in addition to, any late filing penalty imposed against the company for filing accounts late. There is no late filing penalty imposed on confirmation statements or annual returns that have been filed late. The registrar may also take steps to strike the company off the public record if these documents are delivered late.

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