BEIS responds to ICAS' request for automatic filing extension
BEIS responds to ICAS’ request for a continuation of the automatic filing extension with Companies House.
The Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) has responded to the ICAS letter requesting that the automatic extension currently being granted by Companies House for the filing of accounts be continued beyond the 5 April 2021 deadline.
Lord Callanan, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State at BEIS, has advised that extending the easements on company filings and AGMs would require primary legislation. Given the number of pressures on the country at the moment there is currently no Parliamentary time available to take such legislation through. BEIS will, however, continue to keep the matter under review. They also highlighted that the discretionary powers available to the Registrar of Companies would, in the absence of an automatic flexibility, offer an alternative route to achieve the needed breathing space for companies.
Automatic extensions to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic were introduced as a temporary measure by the Companies etc. (Filing Requirements) (Temporary Modifications) Regulations 2020 (“the regulations”) which came into force on 27 June 2020. These automatically extended the filing period for private companies from 9 months to 12 months and for public companies from 6 months to 9 months, for those companies which had not already received a filing extension up to the maximum time allowed in law.
For practical purposes this means that private companies with a 30 June 2020 year-end will be granted an automatic extension of 3 months to their accounts filing deadline but those with a 31 July 2020 year-end will not.
For public companies, those with a 30 September 2020 year-end will be granted an automatic extension from 6 months to 9 months as their normal filing deadline falls before 6 April 2021, whereas those with a year end of 31 October 2020 will not be granted an automatic extension and will need to file their accounts within the normal 6-month period.