Companies House hands ‘at risk’ directors new guidance on staying safe

A question to ContractorUK which was posed back in October 2017 by a contractor in fear for her safety is the subject of new guidelines from Companies House.

Published on the CH website yesterday, ten-part guidance outlines how registrants can restrict the disclosure of personal information where they believe they are at “serious risk”.

In the case of the contractor, she was at “risk of violence” from her ex-partner, and so was “desperately trying to remove” the publicly-viewable register’s details of her whereabouts.

'Removal'

An additional guidance document also published by the government agency yesterday "Remove your home address from the Companies House register" could potentially now help.

But exceptions still apply. In the reader’s case, she was told by the register that her details could only be removed if the risk of harm related to the business of the company on-file.

Similarly, Companies House said yesterday that registrants must not request removal of their company’s registered office address where that address is also their home address.

'£32'

There can be charges, too, where data removal is possible. In a section on applying to have an address removed, the Companies House guidance says removal costs £32 per document.

The guidance comes after the register updated the bank account details which CH registrants have to pay into, in the event that they file their company accounts late.

However, since late June, Companies House has granted a three-month extension to the filing deadline of all registered limited companies, whereas previously firms had to apply for it.  

'Certainly on the minds of contractors'

Business rescue expert Gareth Wilcox, who outlined the extension to contractors in April before it was automated, last night said the extra time would help, but implied that anxieties for PSCs persist.

“Realistically the [greater concerns] are likely to be around issues… [such as] the raising of HMRC’s status to preferential -- in relation to certain heads of duty in December.

“And the possibility of an Autumn Budget doing away with Entrepreneurs’ Relief, plus a potential hike in the rate of Capital Gains Tax”.

A partner at Opus Restructuring & Insolvency, Mr Wilcox added: “There is currently no certainty as to whether the latter will happen, or even when or if there may be an Autumn Budget. But it is certainly on the minds of contractors at present, as we have seen an upturn in MVL closures.”

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Written by Simon Moore

Simon writes impartial news and engaging features for the contractor industry, covering, IR35, the loan charge and general tax and legislation.
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