Thousands of private British companies who have failed to file their statutory financial statements with Companies House could see their assets claimed by the Crown, says accounting, tax and advisory practice Blick Rothenberg.

Simon Rothenberg, a manager in the firm’s business group, said: “It appears that many firms that should have filed their accounts in September last year failed to do so and as a result assets amounting to millions of pounds could be seized by the Crown, and the companies struck off.

“The problem is that many companies do not realise what a precarious situation they are in. The filing deadline for statutory financial statements is nine months after the end of the accounting period.

“Historically, Companies House did not issue a strike off notice until at least three months after this date. They have become much more pro-active than in the past and are now taking quick action against directors and companies that do not file their accounts within the required time frame."

He added: “As of November and December last year it appears that companies who did not correspond with Companies House were issued strike off notices only two months after the filing deadline, with at least 12,000 notices being issued in December alone.

“In addition, the time frame from the issue of the first notice to the removal of the company from the record was reduced to two months in 2017. Therefore, within the next few days there are many companies which could face having their assets transferred to the Crown if their accounts are not filed or the directors do not enter into correspondence with Companies House to confirm they wish to retain the company.”