Companies House will no longer send out postal reminders for filing your Annual Return, now known as the Confirmation Statement, as part of their aim to become a fully-digital organisation and all companies should now register for the email reminder service
They say that Companies who have already switched to email reminders from paper are more likely to file their accounts and confirmation statement (annual return) on time, and are less likely to get a penalty for filing their accounts late.
Their email reminder service is free and has many advantages over the paper system. You can:
- choose up to 4 people to receive a reminder (including an agent)
- file your document immediately from a link within the reminder
- receive reminders more conveniently
- use less paper, contributing to saving the environment
How to register
- sign in to the Companies House online filing service
- select ‘Get email reminders’ from your company overview screen
- click ‘Add an email address’
- enter your email address (a maximum of 4 per company)
- click the link in the email Companies House sends you to validate your email address
- agree to the terms of operation
They will send you an email when you have successfully joined the reminder service.
New users will need to register to use the Companies House online filing service.
You can file your Confirmation Statement here
The company must first of all be removed from the Companies Register but only if it:
- hasn’t traded or sold off any stock in the last 3 months
- hasn’t changed names in the last 3 months
- isn’t threatened with liquidation
- has no agreements with creditors, eg a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA)
A company can apply to the registrar to be struck off the register and dissolved if it’s no longer needed, for example if:
- the directors wish to retire and there is no one to take over the running of the company
- the company is a subsidiary whose name is no longer needed
- the company was originally set up to exploit an idea that turned out not to be feasible
More details can be found here:
Once the company has been removed from the Companies House Register, it can be removed from the Register of Charities.
A charitable company has an automatic right to expend all of its assets on its purposes.
You can tell the Charity Commission that you have wound it up by completing the closure form. This can be done online – more details can be found here:
Company Tax Returns
You must complete a Company Tax Return if your charity is a limited company or unincorporated association when this is required by HM Revenue and Customs. You need to include the supplementary pages for charities and community amateur sports clubs (CASCs).
A charity is a limited company if it was set up by a:
- memorandum and articles of association
- royal charter or Act of Parliament
Limited companies must also send annual accounts to Companies House. You must complete a tax return when HMRC asks you to, even if no tax is due. You may have to pay a penalty if your tax return is late or you don’t complete one when you should.
You can find more information about charities and tax here
When to change charity structure
Changing to a different charitable structure usually involves setting up a new charity, transferring your original charity’s assets and liabilities to it then closing your original charity.
Your charity’s legal structure sets out what type your charity is. There are four common types of charity structure:
- charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) – there are 2 structures; association CIO and foundation CIO
- charitable company (limited by guarantee)
- unincorporated association
Your charity’s legal structure determines:
- who will run it and whether it will have a wider membership
- whether it can enter into contracts or employ staff in its own name
- whether its trustees are personally liable for what it does
A “Changing Charity Structure Checklist” can be found here
You must tell Companies House about any changes to your limited company, including:
- directors and company secretaries, eg new appointments, resignations or changes to their personal details
- changing your company name
- changing your registered office address
- changing your accounting reference date
- changing where your company records are kept, if different from your registered address
- which records you’ll keep at an alternative address
More information can be found here