COVID-19: Update on Companies House strike off policy and late filing penalties
Companies House has announced temporary changes to its strike off policy and approach to late filing penalties to support companies affected by the COVID-19 outbreak in meeting their legal responsibilities.
Strike off policy
The new measures include pausing the strike off process to prevent companies from being dissolved. The usual process for a voluntary application for strike off consists of the company making an application whereby Companies House will publish a notice in the Gazette informing any creditors of the voluntary strike off application. Companies House have stated that they will continue to write to companies that have failed to file their annual accounts or confirmation statement, but it will not publish a Gazette notice indicating its intention to strike off the company. These changes do not apply to businesses being dissolved under an insolvency procedure, such as administration or liquidation.
Companies House are aware that many businesses will struggle to maintain their legal obligations to file certain accounts or statements and have enabled companies to apply for an immediate and automatic three-month extension to their filing deadline date. Companies House also states that it will provide a break for companies to pay late filing penalties, as well as offering additional support with payment plans for late filing penalties.
These policy changes are temporary, and will be kept under review and amended as necessary in light of the COVID-19 outbreak.