The Association of Residential Letting Agents is advising member companies to file their accounts on time in order to remain transparent over the funds held in client accounts.
ARLA Propertymark says that existing scheduled dates for submitting an accountant’s report as part of membership requirements remain in place.
Scheduled dates remain, it says, because Propertymark members collectively hold £1.5 billion in client accounts. “The statutory requirements for Client Money Protection require regular inspection of client accounts to ensure that we are all maintaining expected standards of conduct in relation to client accounts” it says.
However, it is notifying members of a government initiative which says that businesses which cannot file accounts on time due to Coronavirus, and whose filing deadline has not yet passed, can apply for an automatic and immediate three month extension.
All companies are required to submit accounts and reports each year and under normal circumstances, late ones are issued with an automatic penalty. However, the government has announced a joint initiative with Companies House so businesses can prioritise managing the impact of Coronavirus.
If companies do not apply for an extension and their accounts are filed late, the automatic penalty will be imposed.
Any appeal is treated on a case-by-case basis, and ARLA says Companies House already has policies in place to deal with appeals based upon unforeseen poor health.
Companies that have already extended their filing deadline or shortened their accounting reference period may be ineligible for an extension. If an extension is agreed, accounts must be filed before the new due date or the company will receive a late filing penalty.