The Annual Return is now the Confirmation Statement
Here’s what the change means for your business...
Your annual return, the first of which is due no later than one year and 28 days after incorporating a company, is as of 30 June 2016 being ‘rebranded' as the confirmation statement.
The confirmation statement, submitted to Companies House (the UK’s registrar of companies), will still be a filing obligation for all limited companies whether they’re trading or dormant, and is a snapshot of general information about a company's directors, secretary (where one has been appointed), registered office address, shareholders and share capital.
It will still need to be filed at least once a year with the filing fee expected to stay at £13, but, and here’s a major change – once company directors have filed a confirmation statement, they can then file the confirmation statement again as many times as they wish within the year for no fee. In short, companies will only be charged once a year.
Why the update to annual returns?
It’s all to do with the ‘People with significant control’ (PSC) register. As of 6 April 2016 limited companies should be keeping their own register made up of people with significant control within the company. According to the Government this is anyone who:
- owns more than 25% of the company’s shares
- holds more than 25% of the company’s voting rights
- holds the right to appoint or remove the majority of directors
- has the right to, or actually exercises significant influence or control
- holds the right to exercise or actually exercises significant control over a trust or company that meets one of the first 4 conditions.
Before the confirmation statement and PSC updates, limited company directors simply let Companies House know about shareholding changes in the annual return once a year. That meant if an annual return was field on 1 January and a shareholding change took place on 2 January, the annual return would be outdated for pretty much the whole year. Whilst directors could file a new annual return if they wished, the £13 filing fee was required.
By capping the confirmation filing fee, directors can let Companies House know about any updates to the company for free (as long as the ‘deadlined’ confirmation statement had been filed).
A quick word on due dates: the deadline for the confirmation statement will fall on the anniversary of when the last confirmation statement was filed. A company’s first confirmation statement will simply take the current annual return due date. You can use annual return services to make the process of filing simpler or you can file yourself using the Companies House service.
Finally, to clarify – like the annual return before it, the confirmation statement will be a report made up of of general company information. From 30 June 2016 all company directors will need to do is ‘check and confirm’ that the information that Companies House hold is correct and if there are updates required, let them know.
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