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Company Accounts and Annual General Meetings during the Coronavirus outbreak

Updated: Jul 3

The coronavirus pandemic and the measures introduced to combat its spread and effects have caused considerable disruption to the way that companies are normally run and administered. Significantly, this includes the obligation on companies to file their accounts and to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) each year. New changes have now been announced that will relieve the pressure on embattled companies for a while at least.


Filing Accounts


The Government and Companies House have recently announced an initiative allowing companies to make an application for a three-month extension for filing their accounts without penalty.


It is, however, necessary for companies to make an application for an extension of time and that application must be made before the original deadline for filing accounts has passed.


A fast track online system has been launched and it allows those applicants who seek an extension of time due to coronavirus-related issues to automatically be granted the extension without any delay.


The online application should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and further guidance regarding the application process can be found HERE.


The extension of time may not be available to companies who have shortened their accounting reference period or where an extension to the filing deadline has already been granted.


It is important to act before the deadline for filing accounts has passed, otherwise an automatic penalty will be imposed for late-filed accounts with limited discretion available to the Registrar of Companies not to collect it.


You can start the application process from HERE.


AGMs


The Government has also announced that legislation will be introduced to enable those companies required to hold an Annual General Meeting by law to do so in a way which is aligned with the guidance regarding gatherings of groups and the restrictions on movements to combat the spread of coronavirus. These changes will be temporary and allow companies to adapt to the present circumstances, allowing meetings to be postponed or to be held online.


Further updates will be provided once the precise detail of the changes is known.

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