Annual returns: be ready for change and for less time to comply
Author: Siân Sadler
Applies to: England, Wales and Scotland
From 30 June 2016, companies will have to send annual information to Companies House by way of a confirmation statement.
The new confirmation statement (CS01) will replace the annual return (AR01) as a means of providing up to date company information for the public register. Companies will have to confirm that they have either already delivered all required information to Companies House or that it is being sent at the same time as the confirmation statement.
For a company whose details do not change year on year, the new procedure will simply involve a 'check and confirm' that information held by Companies House on the registered office, SAIL address, officer appointments and company records is accurate.
However, for all companies submitting the confirmation statement for the first time, the confirmation statement will involve providing additional new information. With the introduction of a shorter grace period for filing, companies are therefore encouraged to ensure that they have their information ready to submit with the new CS01 statement.
The key changes for the new regime are:
- PSC Register information: Companies have had to keep their own registers of people with significant control since 6 April 2016. This information will now need to be included as part of the confirmation statement and, for the first time, the information will be available to the public online
- Compliance period: Companies will need to file their first confirmation statement on the date on which their next annual return would have been due. The 28 day filing period has, however, been reduced to 14 days. As before, failure to file within the required period is an offence which will make the company and its officers liable to a fine. Companies, particularly those whose annual returns would have been due on 30 June or in early July, should therefore ensure that they are ready to act as soon as the new confirmation statement forms are released. Companies may wish to file their annual returns early, before 30 June, to postpone dealing with a new and unfamiliar CS01 form
- Single annual fee and multiple filings: Whilst the fee is to remain the same (£13 online or £40 for paper filing), it will be payable annually rather than per statement. At least one confirmation statement must be filed each year, but companies may choose to submit more than one during that period. This may be particularly useful where multiple changes occur throughout the year. The annual requirement to file a confirmation statement will run from the date on which the last statement was made
The new confirmation statement can be used to provide Companies House with details of changes which have occurred in respect of a company's:
- Standard industrial classification code, or SIC code
- Statement of capital
- Trading status of shares
- Shareholder information
- PSC register information
Any other changes, such as changes of directors, secretaries, registered office or single alternative inspection address, must be notified on separate forms.
Companies whose next annual return is due on, or shortly after, 30 June 2016 will need to ensure that they are ready to provide the additional information required by the new confirmation statements in order to comply within the shorter grace period.
Our company secretarial team provide a wide range of company secretarial services and can assist in compliance with the new confirmation statement requirements. Please contact Siân Sadler on 03700 868440.
This document is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given.