COVID-19: Latest updates from Companies House
Companies House has issued a number of updates to help keep you informed of changes to its services and to help you understand the impact to you and your clients.
1.Appeal a late filing penalty online and payment options for late filing penalties
When a company files after the accounts filing deadline, a late filing penalty will be automatically applied. The Registrar has put in place extended measures to help companies that have been issued with late filing notices but are not able to prevent a notice being issued.
COVID-19 will be treated as an exceptional circumstance, but a company will still need to formally appeal against the late filing notice in order for the appeal to be considered. Appeals will be treated on a case-by-case basis and the Registrar cannot guarantee all appeals will be upheld.
Appeals for late filing penalties can now be made online.
If a late filing penalty occurred on or after 30 March 2020, you may be able to pay your late filing penalty online – a link to the online service will be found on the penalty notice.
If the penalty occurred before 30 March 2020, there are multiple penalties, a part paid penalty or a penalty under an instalment plan, payment should be made by BACS instead. See further information.
2.Suspension of document ordering services
Due to the impact of COVID-19, Companies House is currently unable to offer the document ordering service for older documents not shown on the filing history of Companies House Direct or DVD-ROM/ archived documents/ hard files orders.
3.Repurchase of shares (SH03) and Schemes of Arrangement
HMRC has introduced an electronic service to temporarily replace its usual Stamp Duty process.
Your SH03 form is normally sent to HMRC for stamping if the purchase is above the duty payable threshold. You will still need to send your form to HMRC which will issue your company with a letter instead of stamping the form.
Companies House will accept and register an unstamped SH03 form if it is accompanied by the letter from HMRC confirming that the correct duty has been paid. Companies House will also accept and register court orders sanctioning Schemes of Arrangement which are accompanied either by the letter from HMRC confirming that the correct duty has been paid, or a letter from HMRC confirming that no duty is payable.
See further information about Schemes of Arrangement.
4.Restricting the disclosure of information – online applications
Due to the impact of COVID-19, all paper applications covering sections 243, 790ZF and 790ZG of the Companies Act 2006 are suspended.
To help Companies House protect your details as quickly as possible, you must apply online to protect your details from being disclosed on the Companies House public register.
For more information, see their guidance on restricting the disclosure of your information.
5.Electronic filing and payment update
Most documents can be filed electronically using the existing online services. If you need to file a document on this list, please use the online services to expedite the processing of information.
For the small number of filings that do not currently have an online service Companies House is urgently working on a service to upload your documents and make a payment where necessary. This will only be available for documents that do not already have an online service. Companies House will provide an update as soon as this solution is available.
Companies House will no longer receive post from Royal Mail on a Wednesday as the delivery office will be closed. This does not affect DX post or the Companies House mailbox. Updates will be provided over the coming weeks.
For updates and changes to services, please check the Companies House website.