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Ash
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I have a client who has received a fine from Companies House

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I have a client who has received a fine from Companies House for late submission of her company accounts.
I received the accounts from the bookkeeper mid January and initially submitted these accounts for signature on 5th Feb 2015 (due date 13th Feb). On the 6th the client came back with a couple of typing errors - I had put his instead of her, I corrected mistakes and resent the accounts on the 7th. I didn't receive anything further from client. On 12th Feb at 7.20am I sent an email stating that if I did not receive the signed document by midday there was a chance I wouldn't be able to submit the accounts in time, due to the fact that I sometimes have difficulty submitting to Companies House online so would need to send by registered post. I didn't receive anything from her until the morning of 13th Feb. As expected I was able to submit to HMRC but not to Companies House, I therefore sent via registered post at the earliest convenience but there was nothing I could do about them being received late. She is now withholding payment and threatening to take me to small claims to recover the fine (£150). The emails that I am receiving from her are very defamatory and in parts quite personal. I responded in the first instance in what I consider to be a professional and polite way, stating the facts and the fact that it is her responsibility as director to ensure all parties have the information they need in a timely manner and that I did the best I could in the circumstances.
I am a qualified accountant but work from home only a couple of hours a week as I am also a full time mum. I am hoping that you will be able to help as due to the amount of work I do I let my professional liability insurance lapse. I invoiced her £200.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ash replied 1 year ago.
Alex Watts : Hello my name is ***** ***** I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : When you say you posted them at the earliest convenience when was that.
Alex Watts : The same day as receipt, the day after please?
JACUSTOMER-Customer- :

It was Monday, I think

JACUSTOMER-Customer- :

Is someone able to get back to me today?

JACUSTOMER-Customer- :

Where did you go I was just talking to you? I don't want to have to pay twice....

Alex Watts :

Sorry I was called into Court.

Alex Watts :

So how long when you had it did you keep it before posting it off?

Customer:

Ok, sorry to pester.

Alex Watts :

Sure.

Customer:

I received the signed documentation at 10.09am on the 13th (Friday) which was the day that it was supposed to be received at Companies House and filed with HMRC, I was able to file online with HMRC but the authorisation code for Companies House was not provided and another code that I did have was incorrect so I was unable to file these online. I can't email these to Companies House as they are only accepted electronically in a prescribed format, hence I had to send by post. Obviously regardless of when I sent them after receipt they were going to be late and I had warned the client that this might be the case as they hadn't returned them as promptly a requested.

Customer:

The problem I have is that without her signature I am unable to process anything. She was very aware of all deadline as she is contacted by both HMRC and Companies House to remind her of such. Secondly I was recommended to her via a third party, who I have since spoken to, she states that the client in question was tardy in responding to questions and requests for information too, and that she also chased said client to remind her of the pending deadlines.

Alex Watts :

So you had them Friday, when did you post them out. Monday?

Customer:

Yes, Monday.

Alex Watts : Ok then I don't think you need to worry.
Alex Watts : At most the court can order you to pay the £150 and indeed she still owes you the £200
Alex Watts : the accounts were ready by 7th and it is only because they delayed did they incur a fine.
Alex Watts : that is not your fault.
Alex Watts : they did not need to keep it for a further 6 days.
Alex Watts : so you are not at fault, file a defence saying you are not and why.
Alex Watts : Can I claorfy anything for you about this today please?
Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10915
Experience: Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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