For companies experiencing trading difficulties, the obligation to
file an annual return can fall down the list of priorities. Failing to
file an annual return on time leads to filing penalties and the loss of
audit exemption which can lead to further financial loss for the
company. The CRO have informed us that it is not in a position to
waive these sanctions even if a company is in financial distress.
what can be done in this situation?
Firstly the directors should
always be aware of their company's annual return date (ARD). A company's
annual return (including relevant accounts) need to be filed in the CRO
within 28 days of this date. The date is normally communicated to the
directors by the CRO and can be found by doing a company search on www.cro.ie.
Please contact me if you cannot
find your company's ARD.
Provided the filing date hasn't passed,
it may be possible to extend the ARD by up to 6 months by filing a Form
B73. Remember that while the ARD may be extended by up to six
months, the new ARD must be within 9 months of the accounts year end.
Once a Form B73 has been submitted, a company must wait five years
before it can submit another B73, should the need arise.
Even if a company has submitted Form B73 in
the last five years (or a
B73 is not appropriate given the circumstances), it is possible to gain
extra time to file its annual return by making an application to the
solution is to file the annual return online. The annual return needs to
be filed online before the deadline date but the company gets another
28 days to file the appropriate accounts. Please contact me if you want to
avail of this system.
However, once the filing date has passed and the
annual return and accounts haven't been filed, it is too late. The CRO
are obliged to impose late filing penalties of €100 plus €3 for every
day the return is late plus audit exemption is lost.
conclusion, make sure you are aware of your company's ARD, act early to
ensure that the deadline is met or seek advice and assistance early if
you think that you may miss the ARD deadline.
As always, if you
have any queries about CRO filings or other company secretarial matters,
please feel free to contact me on 021 4310266 or email@example.com.