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Companies House Annual Returns

Comment 21st August 2010

Make it easy to change the filing date.

At present it is very simple for a company to change its accounting date using form 225 but for some reason the Companies Act makes it ridiculously hard to change the Annual Return date. All we need is an amendment to make the rules similar to those for accounting dates. Companies House could then create a new form and an online equivalent – they told me 5 years ago they are unable to do do because the Companies Act does not let them. I got onto my MP and he just got a smug brush off via the Labour minister at the time – this was when the new Companies Act was being drafted.

Why does this matter?

 

I have always found the process of bringing forward an Annual Return date problematic. If one does not jump through the exact hoops the opportunity is missed for another year. Handling as I do 50+ Returns for client companies and wanting them all to file at 31 March, I do not even get a form for a company that has say October as its date, and if I do not file before 28 April (28 days after the 'old date' I cannot make the change for another year. 
 
Another trap is that if one does not complete the election to move the date, Companies House will accept an early return, but then wait until the original date the next year – back to square one for no good reason.
 
A small point, but something no-one in officialdom seems to have thought of, and when I did point it out, they couldn't be bothered.
 
So the importance of my request? To show that this current process gives power to sensible people over lazy legislators.

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