Update October 2014: As of March 2014, handwritten signatures of Directors, Auditors etc are no longer required on accounts documents filed with the CRO. Signatures should instead be typed on each document.
Annual Return filing dates
Whether a company is trading or not, it is obliged to file an annual return (Form B1) with the Companies Registration Office (CRO) once every year. You may ask yourself when is my B1 due? What happens if it’s late? A company’s annual return must be made up to a date which is not later than its ARD (Annual Return Date). In order to know your particular ARD date you will need to search for your company on www.cro.ie . This will outline when your next ARD date is and also show you when the last accounts were submitted. Your annual return along with accounts are due within 28 days from the ARD date shown on the website. If the 28 day filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the 28 day period is extended to the next working day. A further 28 days can be availed of if you file your annual return online.
What happens if an annual return is filed late?
A late filing penalty of €100 becomes due in respect of an annual return on the day after the expiry of the filing deadline. A daily penalty amount of €3 accrues from day 30 onwards, up to a maximum penalty of €1,200 per return. This penalty is in addition to the standard filing cost of an annual return. Revenue have also confirmed that late filing penalties are not tax deductible for taxation purposes. Filing an annual return late may also affect a company’s entitlement to audit exemption; as unaudited accounts cannot be filed with an annual return that is late.
Enforcement by the CRO
In more recent months, we have seen strict enforcement measures employed by the CRO in respect of annual return filing compliance history and we would expect this to become more prevalent in the coming months. You may ask yourself what enforcement measures may be taken by the CRO? The company and its officers are liable to enforcement measures including on the spot fines. Fines of up to €1,904.61 can be imposed on a conviction of each breach of the annual return filing requirements. In addition to the above, a company may be struck from the register and dissolved for failure to file an annual return. If struck off, owners no longer have limited liability and as a result are personally responsible for any debts incurred and the assets of the company become vested in the Minister for Finance.
HSOC Financial & Business Advisors have vast experience in the fields of audit, non-audit and the filing of relevant documents with the CRO. Our Audit & Compliance department deal with all CRO queries and this section is headed up by Audit Manager Evelyn Rooney (click for Evelyn’s Bio). We would be happy to discuss any matters with you in relation to the above and are contactable on 01-2804731 or via our contact form on the right hand side of this page.
Alternatively you can contact any of our audit partners at the below email addresses;
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org
By Evelyn Rooney, Audit Manager