Frequently Asked Questions on Mandatory Electronic Filing

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 458 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 still deliver them to the CRO?
A: No, under the terms of the Statutory Instrument (No. 458 of 2016), from 1 June 2017 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:

  • Submit the B1 on CORE or on a software package,
  • upload the financial statements as a PDF; and,
  • pay the fee by credit/debit card or Customer Account
  • Where a signature page is required deliver the signature page to the CRO.

Q 3: Is it possible to file paper copies of Financial Statements alone?. 
A: No. Hard copies of the financial statements will not be accepted by the CRO.

  • All Financial Statements must be uploaded as a PDF either on CORE or on a software packages on or within 28 days of the captured of the E-B1. The PDF of the financial statements can be attached to the E-B1 in your Workspace in CORE or in the other software packages, in much the same way as you attach a document to an e-mail.
  • The B1 signature page must not be delivered to the CRO until AFTER the financial statements have been uploaded as a PDF.
  • If the financial statements have not already been uploaded when the signature page is received in the CRO, an email will issue to the Presenter informing them that their document is rejected. Presenters must resubmit their B1, upload their financial statements, print and sign a new signature page and deliver it to the CRO. 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 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. Since 1st June 2018, the CRO no longer accepts cheques as a method of payment to top up a Customer Account. The use of cheques is being phased out, this began with the removal of this option when filing a B1 Annual Return. A Customer Account can be topped up by Credit Card or through an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) provided that you put your Customer Account number as a reference on the EFT and you notify us by email that such a transfer has occurred.

Q 7: How do I open a CRO Customer account? 
A: There are two ways to open an Account;

1. Accounts can be opened online on -
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 8: 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:

  • the typed name(s) of the Director(s) who signed the financial statements on behalf of the Board of Directors,
  • the typed name of the Auditor (where applicable), and
  • The date each document was signed on.
  • The financial statements must be certified by a director and secretary of the company. The certification is contained in the B1 form however a separate overall certification is required where an Electronic Filing Agent has signed the B1.

Q 9: 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 10: Late Annual Returns - A company - which has outstanding returns for 2017 and 2018 and which receives a strike-off notice - cannot currently file the two returns online - the 2017 return is filed online and the 2018 return is completed as a paper form. Will a presenter be able to complete both online?

A: Yes, the facility to file multiple form B1's electronically for consecutive years is available.

Q 11: 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 12: 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 13: 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 14: How will I sent in Shareholder lists?
A: Shareholder lists continue to be taken in on CD’s.

Q 15: 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:

  • A valid email address.
  • Adobe Acrobat 9 or greater on your computer.
  • Adobe acrobat is a free download from . You will need to download this onto your computer before filing electronically.
  • A printer. 
  • Make sure that your printer is connected to your computer as you need to print out a signature page at the end of filing your form.

Q 16: 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 17: Will my Signature page be physically sent back if my annual return is non-compliant?
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.

Changes specific to Electronic Filing Agents as a result of S.I. 458 of 2016

Q 18. 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 19. 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. Links: Electronic Filing Agent page

Q 20 Why can I not see all my submissions in my CORE Workspace?

We have made some changes 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: Where can I get further information? 
A: Further Information is available as follows.