By Company Bureau Formations, 31st August 2022
Company Bureau would like to remind companies to take action ahead of their 30th September Annual Return filing deadline, in order to avoid costly penalties and a possible two-year audit. With pandemic extensions for Annual Returns coming to an end, this is predicted to be the busiest September filing period for three years.
The September 30th Annual Return deadline applies to more than fifty thousand companies across the country and is the last day they can file a full calendar year of accounts, which must be completed by November 25th.
Leading up to This Busy Period
For anyone feeling daunted by the process, we have compiled the top five things to remember:
1. Make sure you file. Every Irish company must file a return with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) on a yearly basis, regardless of whether they have traded in that year. These filings must be completed online and by the filing deadline. The first section of the annual return, known as the B1 must provide a range of elements including:
- Company Name
- Registered Office Address
- Directors’ and Secretary Details
- Authorised and issued share capital
- List of past and present members
- Information relating to the financial statements
2. File on time. Failure to file annual returns will result in a penalty of €100 on the first day following the deadline and then €3 per subsequent day up to a maximum penalty of €1,200. It’s also important to remember that as Covid extensions come to an end, the resumption of prosecutions where directors and companies are identified as being ‘late annual return repeat offenders’ are expected to be seen, which could result in a maximum penalty of up to €5,000. Another costly consequence of late filing is the loss of audit exemption for two years, which again applies even if the company has not traded.
3. Include your accounts. The annual return has two main elements – the B1 which is a snapshot of the company as outlined above – and financial statements including items like the director’s report, profit and loss, balance sheet, notes to the accounts etc. Again, this is a compulsory part of the return, even if the company has not traded in the previous twelve months.
4. Have all of your material ready when you go to file. Mistakes can be costly, as a High Court order is required to take down incorrect information. The annual return is an essential part of running a compliant company in Ireland and needs to be given your full attention. This may be the first hard deadline for some companies in up to three years so it’s vital that all of the details are prepared before you begin the online process.
5. If there’s a problem, act fast. If the CRO sends back the return, companies have two weeks to correct any mistakes and file a new document.
Our team at Company Bureau helps many companies that have run into difficulty with their annual returns every year. The process can be quite daunting as you can pay a high price for mistakes as well as possible loss of your audit exemption for two years. To assist in your fillings, we have created a useful calculator to help work out your annual returns late filing fees which you can access here. Annual returns are an obligation for companies in Ireland and the best advice is to be prepared and give it the time it requires
Disclaimer This article is for guidance purposes only. It does not constitute legal or professional advice. No liability is accepted by Company Bureau for any action taken or not taken in reliance on the information set out in this article. Professional or legal advice should be obtained before taking or refraining from any action as a result of this article. Any and all information is subject to change.