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The Demise of the Annual Return from April 2016

19 August 2015

For many years companies have completed an

Annual Return

which confirms the status of the company at a point in time.   Information confirmed within the annual return included the registered office, location of the statutory books, names of the officers and details of the shareholders including any movements in the shares.  Whilst referred to as an “Annual” return it can be produced and submitted more frequently although the next renewal date would fall one year after the latest submission.   Where there are significant changes in shareholders this is usually a trigger for an annual return to be produced and submitted to Companies House.

However with effect from April 2016 this old and trusted document will be abolished in its current form and replaced by a “check and confirm” statement.   Effectively a statement confirming that the details held at Companies House are correct although there will be relaxations on the amounts of unpaid share capital.  The new requirements ask for the total amount unpaid on the total number of issued shares rather than currently what is paid up and what is not.   At present it is unknown whether there will be a charge for this new requirement and we will keep you updated when more information is available.

The current annual return must be filed at Companies House up to 28 days after the due date stated on the return.  Where the submission is late the Directors can be fined up to £5,000 and the  company could be struck off by Companies House.   Where the company is trading this could have a serious affect on your business and therefore it is important that you make a date in the diary for its completion.