Penalty Waivers - extension of time to file

Please note that from the commencement date (1st June 2015) of the Companies Act 2014, applications for an extension of time to file an annual return can be made through the District Court as per section 343(5) of the Act. The costs of making an application to the District Court are far less than the High Court (which was previously the court prescribed).

The District Court will (on notice to the Registrar) hear applications for an extension of time to file the annual return and may make an Order extending the time to file. Where a company files such an Order with the CRO within 28 days of the Order being made, and subsequently files the annual return within the extra time specified by the District Court, the documents will be deemed by the CRO to have been received on time. As a result, the consequences of late filing (late filing penalties / loss of audit exemption) will not apply to that annual return. 

Consequently, since 1 June 2015 CRO no longer engages in correspondence with companies appealing the application of penalties as a result of the late filing of an annual return. Instead, companies who need more time to file their annual return should make an application to the District Court in the district court area where their registered office is situated. NB. Section 343(5) of the Act will not apply to an annual return which has already been delivered to the CRO at 1 June 2015.

APPLICATION TO COURT FOR AN ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO FILE AN ANNUAL RETURN 

The Court may make an Order extending the time in which the company may deliver its annual return to the Registrar of Companies. Only one such Order may be made in respect of a particular year.

Application to the District Court is made on notice to the Registrar by means of an Affidavit. The time which will be extended is the 28 days after the ARD provided for in sections 343(2) and 343(3), CA 2014. The company must file the Order with the CRO usually within 28 days of the Order being made. If the company files the annual return within the extra time specified by the Court Order, the documents will be deemed by the CRO to have been received on time and the consequences of late filing (late filing penalties/loss of audit exemption) will not apply to that annual return.

Please note that companies must have legal representation when making an application to Court.  Where the Court makes an Order extending the time to file, the company must deliver the Order to the CRO within the time period specified in the Order, usually within 28 days of the Order being made.

If the company delivers the annual return to the CRO within the extending time period specified by the Court Order, that annual return will be deemed by the CRO to have been received on time and the consequences of late filing (late filing penalties / loss of audit exemption) will not apply to that annual return

DISTRICT COURT - APPLICATION FOR ORDER EXTENDING TIME TO FILE ANNUAL RETURN
Procedures to be followed: Please see Information leaflet 39 for more information.
Please note that a company must have legal representation when making an application to court:

1. An application must first be made to the District Court for the district in which the company's registered office is situated for a court date - see Courts Website

2. A copy of the notice in Form 93B.1 containing the date and time of the court hearing must be served on the Registrar along with a copy of the company's Affidavit (Form 93B.2), thereby putting the Registrar on Notice in accordance with section 343(5), CA 2014. The Form 93B.1 must be signed by the Applicant or by the Solicitor for the Applicant.

3. The Notice to the Registrar must be delivered to the CRO not later than 21 days before the Court date. Otherwise it cannot be accepted.

4. The Form 93B.1 must state the annual return year in question, the company's current ARD, and the date to which the extension is sought. The time period which may be extended by the Court is the 28 days after the ARD provided for in sections 343(2) and 343(3) Companies Act 2014.

5. The CRO will issue a letter acknowledging that the Registrar has been put on Notice to the Applicant or its Solicitor which the company must provide to the Court, along with the Form 93B.1 and Affidavit not later than 4 days before the Court date.

6. If the Judge grants a Court Order extending the time to file, the Order will show (i) the date to which the extension is granted and (ii) the date by which the Order must be delivered to the Registrar (will normally be 28 days).

7. If the Court Order is not delivered to the Registrar by the date specified at 6(ii), it cannot be accepted by the CRO as the company will be in breach of the terms of the Order.

8. If granted an extension of time to file, the company must either
(i) deliver a paper annual return (B1 & financial statements) to the CRO by the date to which the extension has been granted, or
(ii) submit an e-B1 by the extended date and complete the filing within 28 days of that date.

9. If the company delivers or submits its annual return after the date to which the extension has been granted, it will be deemed to be late and will be subject to late filing penalties and loss of audit exemption for two years in the normal way.

10. If the original court date is changed or the case is adjourned, the company must immediately inform the Registrar of the new court date.

HIGH COURT
Please note that a company must have legal representation when making an application to court The application is by means of an affidavit on notice to the Registrar.