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filing company accounts late excusesFirst it was HMRC, now Companies House are getting in on the act by publishing an annual list of the most unusual and in some cases bizarre, excuses why a company had failed to file its Annual Accounts on time.

Each year Companies House (CH) receives a catalogue of unusual excuses from directors who fail to file their company accounts on time.

The management of CH have now listed their top ten of the most outrageous reasons given:

“goats ate my accounts”

“pirates stole my accounts”

“we delivered the accounts to the betting office next door to Companies House”

“a volcano erupted and prevented me from filing”

“slugs ate my accounts”

“it was Valentine’s Day”

“I have erectile dysfunction and was too depressed to file”

“my company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”

“I’m the only director and shareholder, so the rules don’t apply to me”

And finally, my personal favourite:

filing company accounts late

David Jones’ favourite excuse

The companies which gave these excuses received an automatic initial late filing penalty of £150 and their appeals were unsuccessful. Penalties increase dependent upon how late the accounts are filed (1 to 3 months £375, 3 to 6 months £750, over 6 months £1,500).

filing company accounts late Nick Parker

Nick Parker

“Companies and directors must be aware of their responsibility to file accounts with Companies House. Also companies can sign up to receive e-mail reminders, which can be sent to up to four e-mail addresses.

“There will always be unforeseen events that mean a company is unable to file accounts on time. In exceptional circumstances, companies can request an extension to the filing deadline, however these requests must be received before the filing deadline.

“Most companies can file accounts electronically – it’s faster and easier. The Companies House WebFiling service has in-built checks to ensure that all the relevant information is provided before a customer can submit. It also provides filers with automatic e-mail confirmation that accounts have been received and once they have been accepted for filing”.


Senior Enforcement Manager, Nick Parker


To send Annual Accounts to Companies House electronically, you must register for their online filing services. (visit: https://ewf.companieshouse.gov.uk/runpage?page=webfilingRegister )

When you register, they’ll send an authentication code in the post to your company’s registered office, which can take up to 5 working days to arrive; alternatively, just ask your accountant.

Image of David Jones Shrewsbury Accountant and Founder of Morgan Jones

If you would like more detailed information on some aspect of UK Tax, send me an e-mail and I’ll be pleased to advise further.