The title refers to the change in compliance rules for limited companies.

Until recently, there’s been an obligation to file an annual return, bringing the company details up to date. Certain events, such as appointment or retirement of directors, or special resolutions, still need to be filed within specified time limits, but other details were only brought up to date on an annual basis. This inevitably meant that completing the annual return resulted in a good deal of duplication of information which has already been filed.

You may recall the ‘Red Tape Challenge’ embarked upon by the government which, amongst other topics, proposed to simplify companies’ filing obligations. The new regime, effective from June 2016, is a ‘confirmation statement’. You won’t be required to file this on a set date annually (although not more than 12 months can elapse between statements). Instead, you can submit your confirmation statement whenever and as often as you wish, and every time you file it, a new 12-month window opens. So, for example, you might want to file a confirmation statement at the same time as filing something else, and you’ll just need a rolling reminder in your diary for 12 months time.

One of the main conceptual changes with the new 12-monthly confirmation process is that no new information should need to be provided if the company has filed all the correct returns throughout the year. The confirmation statement will cover more or less the same information as in the annual return with one or two changes.

One significant difference is timescale – with the confirmation statement you only get 14 days’ grace to file it after it is due (that is, 12 months after the last statement) whereas with the annual return you had 28 days.

The idea is to streamline company filing procedures. Will it achieve this? We’ll have to wait and see, but do let me know what you think