Companies Registration Office
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CRO SIGNING CHANGES
One of the potentially exciting effects of the CRO moving to a new digital platform later this month is that it will no longer be necessary to file original signature pages for Company Incorporations or Annual Returns.
The ability to replace the necessity to file original or wet signature pages when incorporating a company is particularly welcome as it should help to substantially speed up the overall incorporation process.
The changes for filing Annual Returns will be twofold.
- Signatures pages for Annual Returns will no longer be posted to the CRO, instead they will be submitted electronically via ROS or scanned pdf.
- The filing deadline for submitting both the Annual Return and Financial Statements will be 56 days (replacing the current deadlines of 28 days to file the Annual Return with a further 28 days to file the Financial Statements).
There will be a lot to get used to for all users of the CRO but, if the new system lives up to expectations then the short term pain of getting to grips with all the changes should be well worthwhile.
The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is finally implementing its long-anticipated digital transformation this month. Basically, the current digital platform used by the CRO will cease to operate on 11.12.2020, and there will be no crossover once the new digital platform is launched on 16.12.2020.
The key dates relating to the digital transformation process are as follows.
* 7th December Final date for receipt of original signature pages for any forms electronically filed under
the current system
* 10th December Final date for receipt of electronically signed forms relating to Charges
* 11th December CRO will begin transition to new system
* 16th December CRO will launch new system
It will not be possible to access, search or electronically file documents in the CRO whilst the transition is put into effect between 11th to 16th December.
During current Phase 5 restrictions the Companies Registration Office (CRO) have extended filing deadlines for all companies with an Annual Return Date (ARD) from 30th September 2020.
This means that any company with an ARD which falls on or after 30th September 2020 does not have to file the original signature page in the CRO until 26th February 2021.
Do not get carried away though until you have had a chance to consider the following points.
- Annual Return must be filed electronically.
- Financial Statements must be filed electronically.
- Filing fee must be made when submitting the original signature page of the Annual Return.
- The signatures of both the Director and the Company Secretary must be made on the same page.
- CRO are currently only accepting postal submissions so relying on being able to make a courier delivery in February is risky.
Companies with an ARD up to 29th September 2020 had to have filed everything (i.e. Annual Return, Financial Statements, filing fee and original signed page) by 31.10.2020. Any company that has missed this deadline for whatever reason now faces, at a minimum, loss of its audit exemption and automatic imposition of penalty filing fees by the CRO.
CRO extends Deadline for Annual Returns to 31.10.2020
Annual Returns filed between 18th March 2020 and 31st October if all elements of the Annual Return (original signed signature page and Financial Statements) have been filed by 31st October 2020.
The original extension (announced in March) was until 30th June.
They are however encouraging companies who can to file as normal during this period.
If you have any queries please get in touch with us.
Engaging with the Companies Registration Office
The Companies Registration Office (CRO) will recommence accepting posted submissions in both their Dublin and Carlow Offices from today Monday 6th April.
Practicalities of filing submissions with the CRO are summarised briefly as follows:
- Post will be date stamped on receipt and stored for processing when they re-open, which will impact on processing times and access to information filed from 12.03.2020 until they re-open.
- Documents delivered by hand or courier will not be accepted.
- CRO offices in Dublin and Carolow remain closed to the public.
- Limited services are available for Company Incorporations and Charges.
- Filings can still be made online.
- ROS signatures (if you have one) can be used instead of a signature page.
- Company searches can still be made online but, may not refledt call submissions filed to date.
It is worth highlighting that one can no longer rely on standard searches. In the past, searches were esssential for checking status of a company (e.g. normal, strike-off, examinership etc.). The two main reasons for searching were (a) as a means of reviewing a potential new client, and (b) to support information provided to banks when opening accounts or taking out loans.
The CRO public office has been closed since 12.03.2020 which means submissions filed from 12.03.2020 until the CRO reopens will not be reflected when searching a company. Even when the CRO reopens there will be a backlog of submissions to get through.
Remember though as with everything in our lives at the moment things change, so please check with us before filing or if you have any queries on the above.
Keep safe and well.
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