Farming businesses which trade as limited companies should take care not to incur fines for failing to file their accounts in time.

The new Companies Act, which comes into effect on 1 October, means limited companies and limited liability partnerships will have nine months to file their accounts instead of 10, according to accountant Mapus-Smith & Lemmon.

Businesses with accounting periods beginning after 5 April 2008 must file accounts within nine months after their year-end, or attract HM Revenue & Customs fines of hundreds of pounds, said the firm’s Sharon Edwards.

“The fine levels continue to rise in increments up to £1500 for accounts overdue by more than six months. This represents a 300% increase on the previous fine for filing accounts over six months late. If they are late again the following year these penalties will double.”