Following our earlier update regarding Persons of Significant Control Register, we outline changes to company Annual Returns.
In January 2014 the governments announced its red tape challenge in which it set out to reduce the administrative burden placed on businesses, with the help of input from people in business, the general public and other organisations.
Currently all companies are required to file an annual return in which details of the companies officers, registered office address, shareholders and share capital are reported to Companies House, this can prove frustrating as for many companies they are duplicating information already submitted to and held by Companies House.
From 30th June 2016 the annual return as we know it is to be abolished and replaced with the confirmation statement.
The confirmation statement is a declaration that since the last confirmation statement there have been no changes to the constitution of the company or that all changes have been reported at the time they took place. Therefore, the information that Companies House holds for the company is correct and up to date. If changes have taken place and Companies House has not been notified at the time, those details will need to be submitted along with the confirmation statement.
On the face of it, it appears there is little difference between the information a company currently submits under the annual return and what will be required under the confirmation statement, especially for those companies that already use Companies House online filing procedures for annual returns, in which they can progress through the details of the company and either confirm that no changes have taken place during the year or update the records accordingly.
However, it is important to note three key differences as follows:
Filing Dates – Whilst annual returns had fixed filing dates, companies may make a confirmation statement at any time they wish, however no longer that 12 months may elapse between confirmation statements.
- Reduced filing period – You were allowed a period of 28 days from the due date of the annual return to file it with Companies House. This period has been reduced down to 14 days for the confirmation statement, therefore if twelve months have elapsed since the last filing of the confirmation statement you will only have an additional 14 days to file the confirmation statement before the company is no longer considered to be in good standing.
- Additional information – The introduction of the confirmation statement will coincide with the new Persons of Significant Control Register, and this will need to be delivered alongside the confirmation statement. For details on the Persons of significant control please click the link:
The current charge for filing an annual return is £40 using the paper filing method or £13 if filing online, no fee has yet been prescribed as payable on filing of the confirmation statement however this is likely to be included in the secondary legislation on the matter.