It is a criminal offence not to file annual accounts for a limited liability partnership. If convicted, the designated member(s) will receive a criminal record and a fine of up to £5,000 for each offence. This is in addition to any late filing LLP annual accounts fees that are imposed on the LLP. The court may also seek to strike the LLP off of the register.
Usually, you must submit your return no later than nine months after the accounting reference date each year. The accounting reference date is the last day of the month in which the anniversary of the incorporation of the partnership falls. The accounting reference period is the period from the date of incorporation to the accounting reference date in the first year and the period from the day after the accounting reference date to the next such date in all subsequent years.
For a new LLP with accounts that cover more than 12 months of trading the return must be submitted within 21 months of the incorporation date or three months after the accounting reference date, whichever is longer. If the first accounts of a new LLP cover twelve months or less then they must be submitted no less than nine months after the accounting reference date as usual.
Penalties for not filing annual accounts for an LLP: if you fail to submit your accounts by the required date then an automatic fine will be imposed. If the accounts are late by less than a month the fine will be £150.00. This rises to £375.00 for a return that is late by 1-3 months and then £750.00 if it is late by 3-6 months. If the return is late by more than six months the fine is £1,500. These penalties are doubled if an LLP files a late return in two successive years. Penalties can be paid in installments over a period of five months (ten in special circumstances) if you are unable to pay them up front.
In exceptional circumstances you may be able to secure an extension beyond the due date for your accounts. There are also limited circumstances which might allow you to appeal against a late submission penalty. This would include a fire destroying your paperwork a few days before the due date. Accounts being lost in the post, arriving late, not being filed by an accountant or members being unaware of the need to file accounts are not sufficient grounds for an appeal.
If your accounts are rejected by Companies House then you will not be granted an extension to file an acceptable version. This is a good reason to file your accounts well before the due date. You should also be careful to ensure that the accounts are clearly legible and can be copied easily.
If an LLP is restored to the register after being struck off or dissolved then you will not be liable for penalties that would have accrued during the time that the LLP was dissolved. However, you will be liable for any outstanding penalties from prior to the dissolution of the LLP.