Nearly 583 UK businesses filed their company accounts in the final hour before the deadline last year while over 26,000 missed the cut-off point all together.
A range of bizarre excuses came out from some of the businesses that failed to submit their accounts on time, including one who said: “goats ate my accounts”.
Other excuses included: “I found my wife in bath with my accountant”; “pirates stole my accounts”; “we delivered the accounts to the betting office next door to Companies House”; “a volcano erupted and prevented me from filing”; “slugs ate my accounts”; “it was Valentine’s Day”; and “my company was more successful than I thought it would be, so I was too busy to file”.
The companies that gave these excuses received a late filing penalty and their appeals were unsuccessful.
Penalties increase depending on how late the accounts are filed and the status of the company.
The claims were revealed as part of the government’s efforts to educate businesses on how to submit accounts and the penalties for late submissions.
Senior enforcement manager, Nick Parker, said: “Companies and directors must be aware of their responsibility to file accounts with Companies House. Companies can sign up to receive e-mail reminders, which can be sent to up to four e-mail addresses.
“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.
“Most companies can file accounts electronically – it’s faster and easier. The Companies House WebFiling service has in-built checks to ensure that all the relevant information is provided before a customer can submit.
“It also provides filers with automatic e-mail confirmation that accounts have been received and once they have been accepted for filing.”