The normal deadline for filing private limited company accounts is 9 months after the company’s financial year end, known as the accounting reference date. For example, many companies have a year-end date of 31 March and are therefore required to file their accounts by 31 December. For public companies, the time limit is 6 months from the year end.
The deadline for filing your first set of accounts with Companies House can be complicated. If the first set of accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, the filing deadlines are as follows:
- Within 21 months of the date of incorporation for private companies
- Within 18 months of the date of incorporation for public companies
- Or (for either company type) 3 months from the accounting reference date, if this is longer than the above time limits.
For example, a private company incorporated on 1 January 2019 with an accounting reference date of 31 January, has until midnight on 1 October 2020 (21 months from the date of incorporation) to deliver its accounts.
If the first set of private company accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, then the normal filing deadline applies.
There are automatic late filing penalties if your company accounts are delivered late. The penalties depend on how long has passed from the due date for payment and whether the company is private or public.