Filing Annual Returns - Common errors

On average, the Companies Registration Office receives 170,000 Annual Returns (form B1) of which 26,000 (15.3%) are sent back to the presenter/company. This is a very high error rate and creates extra work for all concerned. Listed below is a breakdown of the most common reasons for sending back Annual Returns and possible solutions to prevent or reduce the number of send backs.

Reason for send back Possible solution
The Annual Return is late and a late filing fee is due but not enclosed. (33%). File on time and preferably electronically. Companies can have up to nine months plus 28 days after the end of their financial year to file their Annual Return. If a company files electronically it receives an extra 28 days from the date of capture of the e-B1 in which to file its accounts. The fee for an e-B1 is €20. If a company is not availing of its full nine months after the end of financial year, there are two options available for extending the ARD (annual return date) out to the full nine months:  It can file a B73 form to extend the ARD for up to six months but a B73 must e filed with an on-time B1 and can obly be filed once in every five years;  If a presenter is posting an annual return to CRO very close to the deadline, it should consider using Express Post which guarantees next working day delivery. Alternatively, hand deliver to the CRO, Parnell Square.
The company is not entitled to claim an audit exemption because the current Annual Return is late OR the previous Annual Return was late.(14%). As above. If an Annual Return is late, the audit exemption is lost for two years - the current year and following year. The Registrar has no power to grant a derogation from this legal requirement.
The Annual Return is made up to a date earlier than the company's existing ARD (annual return date) and neither of the boxes in response to the ARD question on page 1 of the B1 form is ticked. (7%). Where you make up your B1 to a date earlier than your ARD, you must indicate whether you want to retain you exising ARD (by ticking Yes) or adopt the new earlier date (by ticking No). Always ensure that one of the two boxes is ticked on the B1 form.
Balance sheet is incomplete, no balance sheet filed, no auditors report filed, no profit & loss account filed. Financial statements are not certified as true copies.(4%) Full Financial Statements consist of (1) director's report, (2) auditor's report, (3) profit and loss (income and expenditure). (4) balance sheet and notes to the accounts where applicable. Since June 1st  2015, Certification is made as part of the signing of the Form B1).
"B1- No Accounts" form filed a second time. (10%). A company is not required to file financial statements with its first (6 month) Annual Return and so can file a "B1- No Accounts". However, all subsequent B1's must be accompanied by financial statements.
The "made up to date" is greater than the ARD. (6%) The B1 form cannot be made up to a date which is later than the stated ARD for the company.The ARD cannot be more than nine months after the financial statements year-end date.
B1 Form or Financial Statements are not signed/are not signed by two different people/are not dated/signatures are not original/signatory is not currently an officer of the company. (8%)Directors/Secretaries listed on 'signature page' are not listed on CRO records as acting as same. All B1 forms must have two original signatures - director and secretary. The same person cannot sign in both capacities. Signatures of the director and secretary on the overall certifcation or balance sheet must be original. A B10 form must be filed with the CRO in respect of any directors not already notified to the CRO. A B10 can be filed on-line free of charge.
Full financial statements have not been filed and the exemption from full financial statements is not claimed. If claiming a small/medium company exemption in order to file Abridged Financial Statements, the company must have relevant clauses required by Chapter 14 Part 6 Companies Act 2014 on their Balance Sheet. If audit exempt, a full audit exemption statement must be on the balance sheet.
Commencement and end of financial year on B1 is not consistent with financial statements attached, or, are not entered on B1.(7%) Financial year start and end dates on financial statements must match those on B1. Financial statements year-end may be less than or equal to the ARD but not later than it.
The company has claimed the audit exemption but the balance sheet does not contain the statements/ clauses required. (4%). See clauses in note on audit exemptions         
No cheque attached/cheque not signed/cheque not dated/cheque for incorrect amount/ cheque dishonoured. (1%). Presenters should ensure that cheques are signed and dated and made out in full to Companies Regsitration Office. Always staple cheques to the other documents - do not use paper clips.
Presenters can open a CRO Customer Account by downloading a form a/c1 or by registering online. They can also make deposits to their account using Services on the website www.cro.ie.
Please see Opening a deposit account. Presenters can calculate their late filing penalty using the "Late Penalty Calculator" facility.