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When should I apply to extend the period allowed to file accounts?

The application has to be made before the date on which the accounts should have been filed, so this process can’t be used if you are already late. If you don’t make the application before your filing deadline, then a fine will automatically be generated if your accounts are filed late. Whilst you could appeal against such a fine on the grounds that the delay was caused by coronavirus issues, this is likely to be a much more time consuming and uncertain process that applying in advance.

It does not appear that the process applies to Confirmation Statements or other returns.

Related FAQs

How do I apply for an extension to Companies House?

The application is made via the Companies House website, and only takes a few minutes to complete. Companies House have indicated that the extension is “automatic and immediate” and will be for three months.

Having said that the extension is “automatic”, their website also says that Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their accounting reference period, may not be eligible for an extension.

If an extension is granted, it will not affect the due date for filing accounts in future years – so the deadline will revert to the usual date for the next accounting period.

Can apprentices be furloughed?

The government has stated that the scheme will apply to apprentices and that they can continue to train whilst they are furloughed. However you must pay at least the Apprenticeship Minimum Wage, National Living Wage or National Minimum Wage for all periods of training during furlough leave, taking into account the rate increases from 1 April 2020 and the increases which will take effect from 1 April 2021. This means that you will be responsible for any shortfall in the amount claimed under the scheme and the appropriate minimum wage.

We recommend that you get in touch to discuss any queries on furloughing apprentices.

What has been the response from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)?

The CMA is the government body that is responsible for protecting consumers from unfair trading practices. It has announced programme of work to investigate reports of businesses failing to respect cancellation rights during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Based on the complaints received by them from consumers, the CMA has identified three sectors of particular concern:

  • Weddings and private events
  • Holiday accommodation
  • Nurseries and childcare providers

The CMA has expressed concern about the number of complaints that it has received about businesses seeking to retain deposits for cancelled events, undue restrictions being placed on use of vouchers provided for cancelled bookings, and payments being demanded to hold open nursery places.

The CMA has said it will prioritise investigation of these sectors, and then move on to other sectors.

What further proposals has the Government made in relation to Public Companies?

It has also been proposed in the Corporate Insolvency and Governance Bill that public companies who were due to file their accounts in the period from 26 March 2020 to 30 September 2020 will have until the earlier of the 30 September 2020 and the date which is 12 months after the end of their relevant accounting period to do this.

This is separate from the pre-existing scheme, announced on 25 March 2020, whereby companies can apply to Companies House for a 3 month extension for filing their accounts.

What rate of pay applies to an employee returning from statutory leave who is furloughed?

Statutory leave includes family related leave, sick leave or parental bereavement leave. Claims for furloughed individuals returning from statutory leave should be based on their salary, before tax, and not the pay they received while on statutory leave.

Similarly, claims for furloughed employees returning from a period of unpaid leave on sabbatical should be based on their pay they would have had on paid leave.