Filing Accounts and Holding AGMs
Companies House (CH) have announced that (as of 25th March 2020) businesses can apply for a 3 month extension period to file their accounts during the pandemic. This extension will be automatically granted to those that cite the coronavirus as the reason for applying for an extension. The application process is available on CH’s website.
Note that an extension must be applied for before the company’s normal filing deadline. Companies that have already extended their filing deadline, or shortened their filing deadline, may not be eligible for an extension. If an extension is not applied for and accounts are then filed late, an automatic penalty will be imposed. If the extension application is successful, accounts must be filed before the new due date or the company will be subject to a late filing penalty (subject to a case by case appeals process).
Directors will also need to consider the ongoing (and future) impact of the coronavirus on their financial position and how this needs to be reflected in their accounts and the statements about for example, being prepared on an ongoing basis, that can and should be made. A company’s accountants and auditors should be consulted as to how this should be approached.
Private companies are not obliged to hold AGMs unless there is a specific requirement in the company’s articles of association. The matter of how to hold an AGM will therefore be unlikely to be of concern for most private companies.