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Late filing penalties explained
How to avoid a late filing penalty
What will happen when a penalty has been imposed
Late filing penalty appeals
Quality of documents
Further information

Late filing penalties explained

1. What are late filing penalties?

Parliament introduced late filing penalties in 1992 to encourage the filing of accounts and reports on time, because this information is required for the public record. All LLPs, whether trading or not, must send their accounts and the auditor’s report on those accounts (unless exempt from audit), to Companies House by the filing deadline. If the designated members submit the LLP’s accounts late the law imposes an automatic penalty.

The period allowed for filing your LLP’s accounts depends on whether you are filing your first accounts since incorporation or subsequent accounts:

First accounts
If your first accounts cover a period of more than 12 months, they must be delivered to Companies House within 21 months of the date of incorporation or 3 months from the end of the accounting reference period which ever is longer. If the first accounts cover a period of 12 months or less, they must be delivered within 9 months from the end of the accounting reference period.

Subsequent accounts
In subsequent years you have 9 months from the end of the accounting reference period to file the accounts. However if you change the accounting reference period the filing time may be reduced. Further information on accounting reference dates and the filing deadline is in our guide Life of a Limited Liability Partnership.

If you are a designated member of an LLP, you are personally responsible for ensuring you deliver the LLP accounts before the time allowed runs out. Delivery means actual receipt at Companies House in the correct format. If they are late a penalty is automatically imposed.

2. How much are late filing penalties?

The level of the penalty depends on when the accounts reach Companies House and is shown in the following table.

Length of delay (measured from the date the accounts are due): Penalty:
Not more than 1 month £150
More than 1 month but not more than 3 months £375
More than 3 months but not more than 6 months £750
More than 6 months £1,500
For example a set of acceptable accounts for the accounting period ending 30 September 09 would need to be delivered by 30 June 2010 to avoid a late filing penalty. If they were not delivered to Companies House until 15 July 2010 they would incur a late filing penalty of £150.

The penalties will be doubled for late filing in two successive financial years beginning on or after 1 October 2008.

This means if your LLP has an accounting reference date of 30 September and the accounts for the period ending 30 September 09 were delivered late, as in the example above, and you delivered accounts for the subsequent period ending 30 September 2010 late then you would incur a £300 late filing penalty.

3. Do late filing penalties apply to any other LLP documents?

No, the penalty only applies to LLP accounts.

4. Are late filing penalties the same as fines imposed on designated members for non-filing of annual accounts?

No they are entirely different.

Failure to file accounts is a criminal offence which can result in the designated members being fined personally in the criminal courts. In addition, the registrar may take steps to strike the LLP off the public record. Failure to pay a late filing penalty can result in enforcement proceedings.

Please note: Your LLP could receive a late filing penalty and the designated members could incur a fine for the same set of accounts if you do not file the accounts within the filing deadline.