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ANNUAL RETURN DATE MISMATCH
Be very careful as currently the Annual Return Date for your company does not match the Annual Return Date given on the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website. Confused – you should be!
The Annual Return Date (ARD) of a company is the date up to which a company provides corporate information on itself as at a particular date year. A bit like a corporate snapshot.
Previously the CRO always gave the actual ARD for each company. Unfortunately, since the implementation of its new digital platform the CRO website is now showing the filing deadline date as if it was the actual ARD.
Let’s pretend your company’s ARD is 01.01.2021 that would give it 56 days in which to electronically file everything bringing it to 26.02.2021. Your company’s ARD is 01.01.2021 but the CRO are showing it as 26.02.2021 which is actually the filing deadline date.
Hopefully, this mismatch will be short term as the CRO continues to resolve teething problems surrounding its new system. In the meantime, take care. Failure to file the Annual Return (and accompanying financial statements and signature page) carries, at a minimum, the imposition of a late filing fee and loss of audit exemption.
ANNUAL RETURNS – Deadlines extended – AGAIN!
At this point even I am not sure how many extensions have been given for filing Annual Returns in the Companies Registration Office!. The latest extension for filing is thanks to both the Level 5 restrictions and challenges within the Companies Registration Office (CRO) as it adjusts to its new IT system.
The upshot is that any company with an Annual Return Date (ARD) of 30th September 2020 or later does not have to file the original signature page in the CRO until 28th May 2021 (previous extension was to 26.02.2021).
Personally, I would urge all companies to try and file on time regardless. It is too easy to think that the deadline is so far away there is plenty of time. Think again, it is hard to manage diaries, deadlines, client expectations and life working from home. Are you absolutely sure that you will remember to file a 2020 Annual Return in May 2021?
The new IT system in the CRO requires a company to electronically file the Annual Return and Financial Statements at the same time. Previously some companies relied on being able to file the Annual Return and worry about having the Financial Statements ready for filing later. Clearly this is no longer an option.
At the very least check the Financial Statements are in hand and are available in pdf ready for electronic filing with the Annual Return.
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