Bizarre list of genuine excuses for filing company accounts late – none of them worked

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Companies House have released a statement reminding directors to file their company accounts.

The statement includes an amusing list of examples of some excuses directors have used for not doing this by the deadline.

While the reasons given may sound amusing, they won’t matter to Companies House and the companies that gave them were still fined.

Some of the most outrageous reasons given include:

  • “goats ate my accounts”
  • “I found my wife in the bath with my accountant”
  • “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”
  • “my company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”

The companies which gave these excuses received a late filing penalty and their appeals were unsuccessful. Penalties increase depending on how late the accounts are filed and the status of the company.

Senior Enforcement Manager, Nick Parker, said: “Companies and directors must be aware of their responsibility to file accounts with Companies House. 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.

To send accounts electronically, you must register for online filing services. When you register, you’ll be sent an authentication code in the post to your company’s registered office.

The authentication code can take 5 working days to arrive.

Useful links

Read our guidance for general help and advice on filing company accounts.

n email enquiries@companieshouse.gov.uk or call our contact centre on 0303 1234 500. Companies House is open 8.30am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.

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