Skip to Content

Top 8 poor excuses for late payment submission

Top 8 poor excuses for late payment submission
Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Within nine months of the end of your business’s financial year, you’ll need to file full statutory annual accounts with Companies House. This goes for all limited companies in the UK and there are very few excuses you can use for missing this deadline.

Companies House will only ever allow extensions to the nine month deadlines if:

  • You apply for more time before you reach the filing deadline, or
  • An event out of your control prevents you from sending your accounts on time.

Please bear in mind that if you should make an appeal for the latter, this will need to be completely truthful, believable, and be approved by Companies House themselves.

Some businessowners have been known to get a little creative with their reasons for missing the submission deadline, as you can see below.

What are the most bizarre excuses given to Companies House?

Here are just some of the most bizarre appeals given to Companies House – as published on the official website.

“Goats ate my accounts”
Sticking with a classic from the old school days, this businessowner decided to shake up the traditional “my dog ate my homework” routine and opt for a goat instead. This somehow feels harder to swing by Companies House and, sure enough, it didn’t work.

“I found my wife in the bath with my accountant”
This one is a little easier to believe, and we really feel for this businessowner. If their story is true, it’s easy to see how sitting down together to arrange your accounts might be a little tense.

Should you find yourself unable to work with your current accountant, Panthera would be happy to come on board before your tax returns and accounts need to be filed (and we won’t try steal your spouse either!).

“Pirates stole my accounts”
We would pay good money to know the full story this businessowner decided to tell the government.

“We delivered the accounts to the betting office next door to Companies House”
We feel that “delivered” is the primary word to note here. What is the betting that this businessowner didn’t just spend the day watching the races on their way to file their accounts?

“A volcano erupted and prevented me from filing”
We’re assuming this late filer was outside of the UK on the deadline and had their flight delayed. If only there were some kind of internet-based system for private limited company directors to file their annual accounts with Companies House online.

“Slugs ate my accounts”
This is a bit more of a stretch than the goat but, if this is true, it is an incredibly unfortunate incident to occur before filing your accounts.

“It was Valentine’s Day”
A romantic at heart, this businessowner clearly put their important date night ahead of their obligation to file their accounts. We doubt this went down well with Companies House, but (especially if this is the same person as Excuse 2) let’s hope they at least got a second date.

“My company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”
Managing a business at any stage or size can be a handful, but that doesn’t mean you get a free pass for missing strict submission deadlines. This businessowner got more than they bargained for, and likely a hefty penalty fine too.

Companies House have confirmed that all of the above appeals were unsuccessful in overturning their case, and every one of the businessowners were made to pay a late filing penalty fee.

The Senior Enforcement Manager at Companies House, Nick Parker, insist that company directors “must be aware” of their responsibilities when it comes to filing their annual accounts. In fact, Companies House even send out email reminders to up to four registered email addresses in your company.

Parker went on to say that “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.”

This is why many companies choose to file their accounts electronically. This fast and convenient WebFiling service also has in-built checks to ensure you provide all of the relevant information before you’re able to submit it. You’ll even be sent an automatic email to confirm your accounts have been received, then another to let you know if they have been accepted.

What happens if you miss the deadline without a good excuse?

Filing your annual accounts late can be an expensive risk to take. The amount you are made to pay in penalties will depend on how late your accounts were submitted and the status of your company.

For a private limited company, the penalty structure for late submissions is as follows:

Time after deadline

Penalty fee

Up to 1 month


1 to 3 months


3 to 6 months


Over 6 months


What other excuses will Companies House not accept?

There are also other, more vanilla answers that could get you into trouble with Companies House should you miss the submission deadline for filing your accounts.

These include stating that:

  • You are unable to pay,
  • Your company is dormant,
  • It is not your fault (e.g. blaming your accountant),
  • You weren’t sure how or when to file your accounts,
  • Your accounts must have been delayed or lost in the post, or
  • The company directors live or were travelling outside of the UK.

If you file your accounts late and use any of these as an excuse, you will still be required to pay the penalty fees.

Never miss a submission deadline again

The best way to protect your company against hefty late fees is to prepare your accounts in advance. Your dedicated Panthera accountant is on hand to organise all of your accounts throughout the year and submit your documents to Companies House for you – so you never miss a deadline again.

Talk to the team today on 01235 768 561 or drop us an email to – we’ll be back in touch with you shortly.

What our clients say

For us, there is nothing better than a happy customer. Here are just a few that let us know how much we mean to them.

Pete Dungey

Simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

We found Panthera via our search for a Xero expert. We knew the software we wanted to use, and needed a forward-thinking accountancy partner who could get us up and running, and teach us the ropes moving forward. Tory and her team have always been on hand to answer our questions, and help us to grow as a business, particularly during periods of big change, such as becoming VAT registered. They are always on hand to alleviate any concerns and help to keep our records in order, which makes our year-end accounts an absolute breeze! Being based in Bristol, our relationship is entirely email based, alongside one consolidation meeting at year end - this keeps things simple, efficient and most importantly, hassle-free.

Pete Dungey Kaleido Grafik Limited
Anita van Eijndhoven

Talk Our Language

The support and service we receive from Panthera Accounting is very good. Everything from regular meetings, a prompt e mail response and the transition of our Xero software (which we find very pro active indeed) has and is all remarkably efficient. We find Panthera talk our language and make any process as painless and easy as possible.

Anita van Eijndhoven Quidne-IT
Ash & Tim Lane

Panthera brush aside the stereotype of the typical accountant

We got in touch with Panthera Accounting by way of a recommendation; we haven't looked anywhere else since. They are an extremely professional yet relaxed group of people. We were slightly daunted by the idea of accountants but Panthera brushed aside y the stereotypes. They are very understanding when answering any questions we may have. They are completely efficient, offer sound business advice, and are fantastically priced. We will continue to recommend them.

Ash & Tim Lane Starveacre Fencing
Jayne Johnson

An Asset to my Business!

The whole team at Panthera are great! Working with them has been a huge support to my growing business. They help me to understand the numbers I need to know. They give me technology solutions like Xero so that I can process things quickly and have access to my own figures. They are quick to reply, highly knowledgeable, nothing is too much trouble and as well as making sure that everything is compliant and on time, they are enthusiastic, professional and fun to work with.

Jayne Johnson Better People
John Baker

Absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level

Working with Tory and the team at Panthera is an absolute joy - they provide a first class service on every level; from simple Xero issues through to more complicated tax enquiries, they’re always on-hand to help me get it right. I’m certainly not their biggest customer, but I’m always made to feel like their most important one.

John Baker BKR Solutions
John Castle

Professional and Friendly

I would like to say that Panthera Accounting have helped me with my business accounts for more than 4 years now. They have consistently offered an excellent competitively priced service that works both professionally and in such a friendly way that I would highly recommend them to everyone considering using their services.

John Castle Ilexanna Limited & Birch Castle Homes Limited
Jonathan Morrison

They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues

I had been with Mr Dunn for 20 years when upon his death Panthera took over the business. They now play a bigger part in the running of my business, they do all the stuff that has to be done but I don't like doing ie book keeping, VAT, wages, and returns. They are always there to answer queries and sort out issues and make sure all Tax deadlines are met. Their costs are fair, service is great and I have and would highly recommend them.

Jonathan Morrison Wallingford Builders
Pippa Scott

Professional, friendly and personal service.

Panthera Accounting have gone above and beyond the call of duty to guide and support our Company. They offer a professional, friendly and personal service that can take the stressful and sometimes frightening feelings out of running a business. They have guided us through the working of Xero and have offered “teaching sessions” on the day to day running of the accountancy package. Our only regret is that we didn’t join their team earlier.

Pippa Scott Scott's Commercial Services Limited
Sara Southey

Panthera puts the personal back in to accountancy!

Tory and her team have provided a friendly, approachable and helpful service from the start. They have delivered a quality service, above and beyond anything I could have expected. Panthera, with the help of the Xero package, have taken the stress, strain and confusion out of managing my company and personal accounts. I look forward to working with them for many years to come.

Sara Southey Bluestones Garden Design
Tracey Miller

Panthera are fantastic.

Panthera are fantastic. Always professional, going the extra mile for their clients and delivering superb service. I recommend them all the time to my clients.

Tracey Miller Bigger, Brighter, Bolder BBB

Contact Us

Panthera will use the details that you have entered into this form to communicate with you on the subject of your message, and for no other purpose.
Please see our privacy policy for more details on how we manage your data.

Lets Get Started

Move to Panthera

Moving to Panthera is as easy as 1,2,3...

  1. We jump on a quick call to create the perfect service package for your business
  2. You e-sign your terms of engagement
  3. We get your authority to talk to HMRC on your behalf

And that’s it! From contacting your previous accountant, to updating Companies House with your new registered office address, let us handle all of the admin so that you can get on with running your business, safe in the knowledge that everything is going smoothly in the background.

Talk to Us