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The SAO deadlines are aligned with the deadline that companies must file their accounts with Companies House, being typically 6 months after the year end for plcs or 9 months for limited companies. As an example, a limited company with a 31 December year end would ordinarily have until 30 September to file its accounts and the same deadline would apply for the SAO requirements.

However, in a response to the COVID-19 outbreak, recent legislation automatically extends certain Companies House filing deadlines by 3 months and therefore the extension to the SAO filing deadlines is automatic. The extensions are as follows:

The result of these changes is that some of our clients who would ordinarily have been required to fulfil their SAO filing obligations for a September deadline (eg; limited companies with a December 2019 year end or plcs with a March 2020 year-end) have an additional 3 months to do so. 

It also means that businesses who under the usual rules by now would have missed the filing deadlines, and have yet to file, may still be in time. For example, a plc with a 31 December 2019 year end would usually have until 30 June 2020 to file, however now it will have until 30 September 2020.

We would recommend that companies that fall within the SAO regime perform a review to determine the impact of this legislation on their filing deadlines. Many companies that ordinarily complete their SAO obligations in September may wish to continue to do so, however some may wish to take advantage of the additional 3 months offered. Where this is the case, engagement with the company's Customer Compliance Manager ("CCM") or a caseworker prior to 30th September to make them aware, is recommended.