Your annual return to Companies House? It’s now a thing of the past.

The requirement to send an annual return to Companies House has come to an end says Emma Woods.  From 30 June 2016, your company will have to file a confirmation statement instead.

What is the Confirmation Statement?

The Confirmation Statement (Form CS01) provides similar information to the annual return, but if no changes have taken place, you can make a declaration to this effect. This means that the process is much simpler.

When you file a CS01 for the first time, there are five parts of the confirmation statement you need to complete. The most fundamental change is the requirement to file information on ‘People with Significant Control (PSCs). Any company incorporated after 30th June 2016 must include PSCs in their initial application.

When must the Confirmation Statement be filed?

If you have an existing company, your first confirmation statement must be filed 12 months after your last annual return and then at least once every 12 months thereafter. An updated statement can be submitted at any time within the 12-month review period and a new review period of 12 months will be set from the date of the most recent confirmation statement.

This rolling 12-month window means that a company can combine the confirmation statement with another filing at any point during the year, if this is administratively easier. Therefore, you can capture key events (such as a change in shareholders) when they happen, rather than having to wait until a later date, when information may have been forgotten.

What is the filing period?

Companies were allowed a period of 28 days from the due date of the annual return to file it with Companies House. This has been reduced to 14 days for the confirmation statement.

If 12 months have elapsed since the last filing of the confirmation statement, a company will therefore only have an additional 14 days to file the next Statement before the company is no longer considered to be compliant. If you fail to deliver the Statement by the end of the 14-day period, you have committed an offence and may be fined.

What is the cost?

A filing fee must be paid when the confirmation statement is delivered.  This is the same as for the annual return (£13 online, or £40 on paper).  Updates to the information can, however, be made as many times as required throughout the year, without incurring an additional fee.

If you require any assistance with your confirmation statement or in interpreting who should be recorded as a PSC, please talk to your accountant.