Q 1: What is the Legal Basis for the introduction of mandatory e-filing of annual returns and financial statements?
A: The Legal Basis for mandatory Electronic filing of form B1s, B73’s, B2s, and B10s is under Statutory Instrument No. 458 of 2016 and Section 897, Companies Act 2014 - see SI 456 of 2016 on the Irish Statute Book website and Companies Act 2014 on the Irish Statute Book Website.
Q 2: If I have a paper B1 and paper financial statements, can I deliver them to the CRO?
A: No, under the terms of the Statutory Instrument (No. 458 of 2016), from 1 June the sole means to be used to deliver a B1 is in electronic format. If you are planning to deliver an annual return to the CRO, you must:
Q 3: Is it possible to file paper copies of Financial Statements?
A: No. Hard copies of the financial statements will not be accepted by the CRO.
Q 4: How can the B1 form be signed?
A: The B1 form can be signed digitally using a Revenue Online Service (ROS) certificate or can be signed using a signature page. The signature page is available after the B1 form has been submitted electronically and must be printed, signed and delivered to the CRO within 28 days of submitting the form online.
Q 5: Can an Electronic Filing Agent sign the B1 form?
A: Yes, an Electronic Filing Agent (EFA) can sign a B1 form using ROS on behalf of a company they are agents of. Where the EFA signs the B1 instead of the director and secretary an EFA cannot certify the financial statements on behalf of the company. The overall certification for the financial statements must be signed by the director and secretary and is required to be delivered to the CRO within 28 days.
Q 6: Is it possible to send in a cheque with the signature page?
A: No. You must pay by Debit/Credit card or by CRO customer account. You may, however, top up your customer account using a cheque.
Q 7: If I file more than one B1 online for the same year and pay the fee each time by credit card will my money be refunded?
A: No, your money will not be refunded. Remember that if you have chosen to pay by credit card, payment will be taken immediately and is NON REFUNDABLE (as we cannot store card details). If you would prefer to pay by customer account, payment will not be deducted from your customer account until signatures are applied. Open a customer account online. If an annual return is filed late, late filing penalties apply and, where applicable, the company also loses its entitlement to claim audit exemption in the current year and in the following year.
Q 8: How do I open a CRO Customer account?
A: There are two ways to open an Account;
1. Accounts can be opened online on www.cro.ie - https://search.cro.ie/company/NewCustomer.aspx
2. Accounts can be opened using an A/c1 form a form can be printed from Opening a Deposit Account page and it is possible to fill out this form before it is printed. Send the completed form to the Customer Accounts Section, CRO, O’Brien Road, Carlow.
Q 9: If my Annual Return Date (ARD) falls before 1 June, can I file a paper B1 and paper financial statements after 1 June.
A: No, the ARD has no bearing on the matter – under the SI, it is the date of delivery of the annual return that dictates the method of delivery and the SI states that from 1 June, the sole means to be used to deliver a B1 shall be in electronic form.
Q 10: Do Financial Statements need manuscript signatures?
A: Financial statements presented to the CRO do not need to carry the manuscript signatures of Directors or Auditors. Instead, financial statements filed with the CRO must contain:
Q 11: Will I be able to file concurrently online via CORE all outstanding annual returns for a restoration application and generate a number of signature pages for signing and return to the CRO by post?
A: Yes, the facility to file multiple form B1's electronically for consecutive years is available.
Q 12: Late Annual Returns - A company - which has outstanding returns for 2015 and 2016 and which receives a strike-off notice - cannot currently file the two returns online - the 2015 return is filed online and the 2016 return is completed as a paper form. Will a presenter be able to complete both online?
Q 13: A replacement form B1 (code name B1B) has to be filed on a paper form currently. Will there be a facility online to electronically file a replacement annual return (code B1B)?
A: A replacement B1 must still be filed on paper and marked B1B. The CRO are currently working on providing this facility electronically.
Q 14: Can I use a B1U to file group financial statements?
A: The B1U was introduced to reduce the amount of paper a group of companies had to file. As financial statements will now have to be uploaded the B1U form can no longer be used. The company can upload their financial statements in their workspace and send the documents required under Section 357 of the Companies Act 2014 with their signature page.
Q 15: Can I still send in a list of directorships with my signature page?
A: The CRO will still accept a manual list of directorships with the signature page.
Q 16 How will I send in Shareholder lists?
A: Shareholder lists continue to be taken in on CD’s.
Q 17: What do I need on my computer in order to file online?
A: In order to file online you will need to have the following:
Q 18: My financial statements pdf is too large and won't upload to CORE. What can I do?
A: PDF files should not be more than 5 mb. If your file is too large perhaps consider removing pictures/images from the financial statements. Copy the required text to a new Word processing document. There are other alternatives if using other Word Processors like CUTEFTP. Click File, Save As PDF. 3. Click the Radio Button “Minimise Size” and “Compress Pictures. Compress Pictures will offer options - the lower the resolution you choose - the smaller the size of the document. Click Ok and Save the Document as PDF. Reducing size of pdf accounts.pdf
Q 19: Will my Signature page be physically sent back if my annual return is non-compliant?
A: No. Where documents are non-compliant they will no longer be physically sent back to the Presenter. An email will issue to the Presenter informing them that their document is sent back and that they must resubmit their B1, re-upload their financial statements, print and sign a new signature page and deliver it to the CRO within 14 days. Companies and Presenters should ensure that they provide the correct email addresses to ensure they are alerted when their documents are sent back as they will no longer receive a letter or documents by post.
Q 20 Why can I not see all my submissions in my CORE Workspace?
We have made some changes recently to make CORE more efficient, one of these changes is to limit the number of drafts in a user's workspace to the last 100 days. However, nothing is deleted or lost. If a user wants to recover a submission before that date then they just need to enter the company number or submission number in the search bar just above the workspace drafts. This will recover anything beyond the most recent 100 days.
Q 21. As an electronic filing agent, will I still be able to submit paper financial statements?
A: No. All financial statements must be submitted online. As an Electronic Filing Agent (EFA) you should also be aware that, as there is a requirement for financial statements to be uploaded, you will no longer be able to deliver originally signed financial statements with the B1 patch page.
Q 22. How do I certify that the financial statements are correct?
A: Where you sign a B1 as an EFA, you will now need to file an overall certification signed by the director and secretary (wet signature) and this must be delivered to the CRO with the patch page. A sample overall certification can be obtained at Filing Accounts Electronically webpage.
Q 23: Where can I get further information?
A: Further Information is available as follows.
Copyright 2017 Public Office Address: Companies Registration Office, Bloom House, Gloucester Place Lower, Dublin 1. Phone: +(353 1) 8045200
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