Businesses can apply for the extension from today (25 March) to avoid penalties for late filing. (Photo: iStock)

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has announced a three-month extension period to file accounts with Companies House in light of the COVID-19 crisis.

Businesses can apply for the extension from today (25 March) to avoid penalties for late filing. There are approximately 4.3 million businesses on the Companies House register and companies that file annual accounts late are issued with an automatic penalty.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “We have outlined a business support package on an unprecedented scale, backing companies and their employees through these challenging times.

“But it is important that our support is not limited to financial assistance. We are determined to help businesses in any way we can, so that they can focus all their efforts on dealing with the impact of Coronavirus, and this new offer of a 3 month extension for filing accounts is part of that.”

Application for the extension can be made through a fast-tracked online system, and the government said those citing issues around COVID-19 will be automatically and immediately granted an extension.

Guidance on applying for an extension can be found here.

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