CRO policy on documents lost or delayed in the post

CRO regularly receives queries from presenters who miss their annual return filing deadline because their documents were lost or delayed in the post.

The 2014 Companies Act places the responsibility on the company itself for on-time DELIVERY of its annual return to the CRO. As a result, if your annual return is delivered late, the fact that you may have put it in the ordinary post in good time does not satisfy the legal requirement to “deliver” the return on time.

If an annual return is delivered late, the CRO has no discretion in relation to the application of late penalties and loss of audit exemption. Therefore, CRO recommends that you use a delivery service which can guarantee that your return will be delivered on-time and also provide proof of delivery. There are a number of providers offering this service (eg An Post's Express Post).

If you are a member of the DX mail network you can ensure next day delivery by using DX’s Express Registered Post. The DX numbers for the CRO are:

  • DX 145001, Parnell House for 14 Parnell Square, Dublin 1.
  • DX 271004, Carlow 2 for O'Brien Road, Carlow.

Alternatively, presenters can hand deliver to the CRO's Public Office at 14 Parnell Square where you will be provided with a receipt for your documents. The Public Office is open from 9.30am to 4.30pm and is less busy in the morning time.

Electronic Filing:

Electronic filing reduces the risk of late filing of your annual return. If you file electronically, you have an extra 28 days in which to submit the signature page and accounts and the filing fee is only €20. For more information on e-filing, please see Online Services.

Fully electronic filing of an annual return is now possible - the documents can be signed and certified by means of ROS online signing certificates, paid for by CRO Customer Account or Credit/Debit card and financial statements uploaded to the B1 as a PDF attachment.

This removes the risk associated with posting entirely as these documents do not need to be posted but will be listed for processing as soon as the accounts are uploaded.

However, in light of the very serious consequences of late filing (ie penalties and loss of audit exemption), CRO exhorts companies not to leave it to the last day to submit your B1 on-line as there is a risk that a temporary issue with your PC, your broadband service, web browser or server could prevent you from completing the filing on time.

Practical steps in delivering documents to the CRO:

Use a delivery service which guarantees next working day delivery and provides proof of delivery.

  • When filing electronically, avoid photocopying or faxing the signature pages as this can result in a deterioration of the barcode and it may not be possible to scan it in the CRO.
  • Avoid long covering letters - if there is something important that needs be noted by the CRO, highlight it in in large bold letters, eg if company is close to being struck off the Register, mark the covering letter "ON STRIKE-OFF LIST".
  • Staple documents together, especially cheques - do not use paper clips.
  • Letters posted to the CRO must have the correct value stamp or frank on the envelope. If not, it will delay delivery of your document. There is no Freepost facility in operation in relation to items posted to CRO.