One of the most terrifying Companies House letters you will receive….

Author: Russell Smith
May 12, 2015

For some people, just seeing the HM Revenue & Customs or Companies House brand at the top of a letterhead is enough to send shivers down their spine.

Because I deal with these sort of letters day in and day out, it doesn’t tend to have the same effect.

However, even I can understand why clients phone me up in a panic after receiving an ‘annual return reminder’.

The annual return is not the accounts but a form that can be submitted online which basically confirms any changes on the shareholders, directors and registered office.

In most cases, nothing will have changed and it is a relatively simple task.  You have to complete it every year and it is on the anniversary of the incorporation date.  You have 28 days to complete it.  It doesn’t take very long.

Which is why it seems very OTT for Companies House to send out a letter reminding the company of an annual return threatening fines of £5,000 for non-compliance (in a scary red box).  The strange thing is, I have known no company fined for late submission of an annual return but known plenty where they haven’t filed the accounts on time (which carries fines of £150, £375 and £750 depending on how late you are).

So if you do get a letter like this – don’t panic, get your accountant to complete the annual return.

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