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gertysingh

What are my rights if Accountant did not deliver Company Accounts to Companies House on time

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Hi All

 

Wonder if someone might be able to advise me if I can claim back the fee I paid to an accountancy firm plus time spent finding out they had "lied" to me. I am a one-man company.

 

8 Nov 2010: I handed my company accounts to an accountancy firm 2 months before my accounts were due to Companies House. This has not been a problem in the past. I called up at the end of November to talk to the accountant who normally handles my accounts to find out how things were going and to let him know that I was leaving the country. I was unable to speak with him personally and was told the message would be passed onto him.

 

13 Dec: A new accountant from the firm introduces himself to me via email. I ask him what has happened to my old accountant. He tells me that the old accountant had poor health and thus left at the end of November.

 

17 Dec: Accountant completes my accounts and asks me to send back the originals ASAP back to the UK. I email back to ask him to send it via webfiling as this had already been set up for me in the previous year.

 

22 Dec: He says there are problems at Companies House (CH) as the company has been unable to send anything to CH over the last 3 weeks. I ask him to call CH and ask to send a scanned copy of my accounts to CH. He tells me that they had received an email from CH that they had a skeleton staff due to the weather and that only the originals could be sent to CH.

 

I posted my accounts by express post from the country I was in. This normally has a 2-4 working day delivery time BUT due to the weather conditions were not guarantee-ing the delivery. CH received my accounts on 4 Jan 2011. 4 days late and thus received a penalty.

 

I appealed the penalty and got a waiver but the accounts would still be filed late.

 

I also received a letter in January 2011, co-incidentally backdated to Dec 13 that the accountant I used to deal with had left the company due to ill health.

 

2011: Unfortunately I delivered my accounts late to CH a second time (my fault - got confused between HMRC and Companies House as this was the first time I had done my company accounts myself) I was thus given a double penalty for having delivered my accounts late twice in a row.

 

I appealed the 2010 late filing and found out from CH that:

 

1. There was no issues with their web filing in 2010. I thus asked the ex-accountant to send me the failed delivery slip. They sent me a failed delivery slip that indicated there was a failure on their side due to their template not aligning with CH and I found out the email was an internal email and not from CH.

 

2. They would have accepted a signed copy of the accounts.

 

One of the directors from my ex-accountant's company has indicated that:

1. I handed my accounts to them late and so they were unable to turn it around in time.

2. It was my responsibility to get my accounts in on time (as specified in CH's regulations).....I wonder why I employed a firm of accountants!!!

3. The double penalty is independent of 2010. (one gets a double penalty for late filing in 2 consecutive years)

4. Since I settled their fee with them, I have accepted that everything was fine. This was my mistake as I was not happy with the service provided at the time but was being given the run around and decided to pay them their fee and to never use them again.

 

I also recently found out that the original accountant's contract had been terminated with the company in the 2nd week of Nov and so they could have alerted me much sooner about him leaving. (for the last 4 years my relationship has been wholly with the original accountant who was pushed out of the company)

 

Would appreciate any guidance here.

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Hello there.

 

I'll move your thread out of the media subforums and into a general consumer one, where I hope the guys will be able to help you.

 

My best, HB


Illegitimi non carborundum

 

 

 

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