Late Filing Penalties


The Government has proposed a revision to the late filing penalty regimes, with additional fines for persistent offenders.

The existing penalty scheme for late filing of accounts was introduced in 1992 and there has been no increase in the level of fines imposed since then. It appears that many companies regard a £100 fine as a small price to pay in return for a three-month extension to their accounts filing deadline. The Government has decided it is time to take action against companies that persistently file their accounts late. A revision to the late filing penalty regime has been proposed.

The changes, which incorporate both the effects of inflation from 1992 to 2007 (a 50% increase), as well as accelerated increases in penalties for persistent offenders, are shown in Figure 1 below.

Where a company's accounts were also filed late in the previous year, the relevant late filing penalty will be doubled.

The proposed changes to the late filing penalty regime will not take effect until 1 February 2009. It coincides with the reduction in filing deadlines for private and public companies, which become one month shorter, i.e. nine months for private and six months for public companies.

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