What are The Penalties If My Annual Return is Overdue

accountants in UK

Penalties for Overdue Annual Return 

An annual return is required by the Companies House and it must be completed by all limited, public, and private companies. It applies whether your company is big, small, trading, or non-trading. The annual return includes general information about the company, and it can include share capital, shareholdings, details of directors, company secretary, and more.   

annual return submission annual retrun

You will need to submit an AR01 Form which provides the Companies House with information about the company. If it is your first set of accounts then they can be delivered 21 months after the incorporation date. After your first return, it is usually nine months after the end of your company’s financial year.  

What are the penalties if the return is overdue? 

Companies have to legally file an Annual Return and it is an offense if you do not deliver on time. By delivered on time, the guidelines are not when you send it, but when the Companies House receive it. Generally, if you do not submit the return on time then you will be given penalties and your company could be struck off the register by the Companies House. 

It is important that you know if the accounts do not comply with the requirements set, then they will not be marked as delivered and this can trigger a late penalty. Make sure you send your Annual Return with plenty of time so you can avoid a late penalty. 

The penalties that can occur will depend on how late the return is. The government has given the following guideline on penalties and dates. 

  • Under one month late – £150 penalty 
  • More than one month but not over three – £375 penalty 
  • More than three months but not over six – £750 penalty  
  • Over six months overdue – £1500 penalty

What to do next 

If you end up with a penalty, you can pay by BACS, and you need to put the company number on the transfer in the reference section. You cannot pay with a credit card over the phone, and you can pay online if you have a link on the penalty notice. On the same day you pay, you need to email [email protected], and this needs to have the company name and number included.  


It is not often that an appeal is successful but you can appeal against the penalty given depending on your circumstances.

How to avoid penalties 

You can avoid penalties if you file your annual returns correctly, and on time. An accountant is the best way to deal with your annual return. At BNA Consulting, our accountants have experience in dealing with the Companies House and annual return submission. We can assist you and even give you reminders about when your return is due. Our team can help present your paperwork efficiently and correctly which means your annual return is stress-free, and you can avoid penalties and more escalated action such as being struck off. Contact BNA Consulting today to find out more, our team is here to help.