By Andrew Lambe, 13th September 2010
Should you have a limited company it is essential that you file your Annual Return with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) on time. The Annual Return must be filed within 28 days of the Annual Return date (ARD)
Should you miss this deadline, the penalties are severe. An automatic €100 fine falls due and increases by 3 euro every further day the Annual Return is late. This increases up to a maximum of €1200 per Annual Return. Another important reason to file on time is that your company loses the audit exemption for 2 years if your Annual Return is even a day late (with the exception of the company’s’ first-ever Annual Return) This can potentially increase your accounting costs by thousands of euro, so in the current climate, it is especially important that you ensure your Annual Returns are filed on time or you have a competent professional advisor ensuring same.
Should you not file your Annual Return/s at all, your company will be involuntarily struck off the register of companies, and any assets the company has will be frozen. Carrying out any trade whilst the company is dissolved is highly dangerous, as the Directors/Shareholders do not have limited liability in this situation.
It is also very important for new companies to note that your first Annual Return is due 6 months after incorporation. This Annual Return does not require a set of accounts to be annexed, however, the date cannot be changed and the return must be filed.
Your second Annual Return is due exactly 1 year after your first Annual Return (i.e. 18 months after incorporation) However if you wish to change this date, this can be extended to a later date (using a form B73) or the Annual Return can be filed early. It is a good idea to fit your ARD around your preferred financial year. For example, if your Annual Return falls due on 22nd March and you would like the calendar year (year ending 31st December) as your financial year-end, it may be a good idea to extend your ARD to 22nd September. Please note you cannot extend an ARD by more than 6 months and the ARD cannot be more than 9 months after the financial year-end. A company must file an Annual Return in each calendar year and there cannot be more than 18 months between ARD’s. Generally, a company has an ARD of between 6 and 9 months after the financial year-end, as this gives the Accountant plenty of time to prepare the accounts and also delays the publishing of accounts on the public record.
To help you with this requirement, as well as many of the other statutory and company secretarial requirements placed on you as a Company Director, please view our Annual Company Secretarial & Compliance Service or please Contact Us for more information and a competitive quotation.
Andrew Lambe is Commercial Director of Company Bureau Formations Limited. To contact Andrew please call +353 1 6461625 or use our Enquiry Form
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.