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Our appeal against Companies House Penalty, November 2010 

Update #2 – 23rd Dec 2010: Buckhorn Weston CC scores a final victory! 

 Companies House – the government registrar for storing information on limited companies – attempted to inflict a penalty on the Club for “late filing of accounts”.  It appears we fell foul of their target-chasing attitude, even though they contributed to the delay by using the wrong correspondence address – please read our Treasurer’s Circular below on the matter!We have now heard that our appeal against their  “penalty” has been fully successful and that they have now withdrawn the penalty.  In their words,  “The decision to not collect this penalty is exceptional.”We are very pleased to receive this news just in time for Christmas  –  a very nice Christmas present!

Update #1  –  7th Dec 2010: Appeal rejected – read our Treasurer’s reply 

 Dear SirBUCKHORN WESTON CC LTD.  –  ref 05014526I have received Mr O’Shea’s letter dated 30 November in which he explains why you are still intending to penalise us for late delivery of our accounts.  I appreciate that he has gone to some trouble to respond to the points which I raised in my earlier letter, and I am aware that you have to operate within the rules given to you.  But there are a couple of paragraphs in Mr O’Shea’s letter with which I have to take issue:I pointed out in my earlier letter that if you had replied to me rather than writing to our registered address there would have been time for me to make and submit the required amendments in time.  In response to this Mr O’Shea says that “if no presenter’s address is provided with the accounts, reject letters have to be addressed to the registered address.”  But the accounts were sent to you under a cover of a letter using the same notepaper as I am using for this letter !  So you have had my address from the outset, and Mr O’Shea’s statement is therefore factually incorrect.  Later in his letter Mr O’Shea explains that there is a discretion for penalties to be waived  “where Companies House contributes in some way to the late filing.”   In our view, that is exactly what has happened here, which is why we continue to regard the penalty as inappropriate.

The letter also mentions the booklet which was sent to us explaining the changes introduced under the Companies Act 2006; I take it that you are referring to the booklet which was sent to us in August 2009.  I have searched in vain for any message in this to the effect that references in the notes to the accounts which hitherto mentioned the 1985 Companies Act now have to mention the 2006 Companies Act.  Would you like to tell me where, in this booklet, you have alerted us to a change in the required format of reporting?

I have noted that you have put penalty recovery action on hold, and I take it that this will continue to be the case until we have resolved matters.

 

Treasurer’s Circular relating to Submission of formal accounts to Companies House 2010

For your informationJOBSWORTH STRIKES AGAIN  – OR TRIES TO1. As a company limited by guarantee Buckhorn Weston Cricket Club Ltd. has an obligation to submit formal accounts to Companies House annually.2. The Treasurer sent the accounts in on 21 October 2010, using the format which has been accepted for previous years.

3. Companies House responded by writing – not to the Treasurer but to the registered office – saying that the accounts could not be accepted as the footnotes referred to the Companies Act 1985 rather than to the Companies Act 2006.

4. Neither the Treasurer nor the President had any knowledge that there was a requirement to change the wording of the footnotes. Companies House say that the change had been posted on their website ( so how big a nerd do you have to be to spend your time checking on that? )

5. When the Treasurer was given the Companies House response he immediately adjusted the last page of the accounts and had them signed by two Directors.  They were sent off on 30 October.

6. 30 October was a Saturday, and hence the revised accounts did not reach Companies House until the beginning of November. The deadline for their receipt is 31 October.

7. Companies House has notified BWCC Ltd. that it is to be penalised £150 for late delivery of its accounts. It has followed this up with a threat to put a debt agency on to us if we don’t pay up within 7 days.

8. There is an appeals procedure. The Treasurer has written to Companies House giving the reasons why we consider the penalty to be inappropriate.

Which leaves us wondering what sort of Government agency it is which:

  • fusses about the footnotes, not the accounts themselves
  • behaves in this way towards a not for profit organisation which provides a service for the local community
  • expects you to read its website and doesn’t notify you of changes to the required format of reporting
  • doesn’t reply to the person who sent in the accounts when it has a query about them, but sends its response to a third party.

There is every indication that this one will run and run. Please follow developments on our website www.buckhornwestoncc.co.uk

If we end up having to pay the fine to Companies House we are thinking of having a fund raising day at the Cricket ground next summer with a “Hit Jobsworth” theme – skittles ? archery ? how many sixes can you hit in one over ?

If you have any thoughts or suggestions on the topic, please share them with any member of the Committee.

PS This isn’t a covert appeal for funds to pay the fine, if it comes to that – we are not that strapped for cash ! It’s just evidence that Jobsworth is still around and earning – or at least receiving – his salary.

26 November 2010