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The majority of companies in Ireland have an Annual Return Date of 30th September so to avoid getting caught out start preparing now.
Check status of your company’s filing in the Companies Registration Office is correct
Check if any of the directors have changed their personal details. The two most common changes are where directors have changed home address or their list of directorships are not current.
When a director moves home address a statutory form must be filed noting the new address and effective date of change.
The list of directorships should include all directorships held worldwide, past and present, within past 5 years.
Have the Financial Statements ready for filing.
Confirm the designated signatories for the Annual Return will be available to sign when required, i.e. a specific named Director and the Company Secretary.
Taking the above steps now can help to ensure there are no delays when it comes to filing the Annual Return.
One last thing – docu-signatures are not permitted on the Annual Return – you have been warned!
The Registrar of the Companies Registration Office has made an unexpected decision to extend the current filing deadline for Annual Returns from 25th November to 9th December.
The decision to extend the deadline was in recognition of the difficulties experienced by some accountancy firms in meeting the 25th November deadline resulting from the evolving Covid-19 situation.
The extension is a welcome and practical recognition of the difficulties faced by so many of us as we all continue to juggle the practicalities of working in an ever-changing office / home / hybrid environment.
Forget Nightmare on Elm Street and Freddy Krueger we can have sleepless nights with the old reliable “Nightmare of the Annual Return”. Not sure anyone would call it a classic but, it is certainly a reliable annual event.
This year is different though as the filing sequence and deadline dates have changed.
Companies with an Annual Return Date (ARD) of 30th September must electronically file both the Annual Return and Financial Statements in the Companies Registration Office before the signature page can be generated. Once the signature page has been issued the company must ensure it is completed and electronically filed in the Companies Registration Office no later than 25th November.
OK, maybe not quite in the same league as Freddy Krueger after all but, definitely up there for stress. Don’t let your filing deadline turn into a slasher movie for your company. File and sign with the bonus it can all be done online.
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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