Issue 172 - 3 October 2017
ANNUAL RETURNS - OCTOBER PEAK
There are over 50,000 companies with an annual return date of 30 September and a filing deadline of 28 October. If you are filing an annual return in respect of one of these companies, you are requested to ensure that your correctly completed return is delivered to the CRO on-time. The only way of doing this is by filing online.
E-Filing is Mandatory
The Companies Registration Office (CRO) has introduced mandatory electronic filing for the submission of an Annual Return and its associated financial statements since 1 June 2017. See FAQ re Mandatory EFiling.
This applies to all Irish companies. 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. Once the B1 (Annual Return form) has been filed on CORE within 28 days of it annual return date, the Financial Statements must be uploaded as a PDF no later than the end of the second 28 days and before the signature page is delivered to the CRO. If the 28 day filing period expires on a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday, the 28 day period is extended to the next working day.
Payment must be made for an annual return online
The filing fee for an e-B1 is €20. 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.
To open a customer account online please go to https://search.cro.ie/company/NewCustomer.aspx
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.
Should you experience difficulties filing your form on-line, help with the content of the form can be obtained from:
FORM B1 - DOCUMENTS RETURNED
The CRO/Registrar would like to draw to the attention of presenters that since the introduction of mandatory e-filing on the 1st June 2017 that annual returns and other electronically filed forms are only being sent back to the presenter for correction electronically by e-mail. No hard copies of the annual returns and other forms will be posted out.
The presenter is required to edit and resubmit the B1, B2, B10 etc and return it to the CRO/Registrar. Please note that annual returns must be resubmitted within fourteen days of the dated on the send back letter or otherwise the law deems it to be late.
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 sent back and that they must resubmit their B1, 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.
DO NOT LEAVE IT TO THE LAST MINUTE TO FILE YOUR ANNUAL RETURN
CRO regularly receives calls from presenters who miss their annual return filing deadline because (a) they encountered technical problems while attempting to submit their B1 electronically on the last day, or (b) they posted their documents to the CRO a day or two before their deadline and they were delayed in the post.
In light of the very serious consequences of late filing (ie late penalties and loss of audit exemption), CRO would exhort 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.
Similarly, if you are sending documents to the CRO close to your filing deadline, CRO advises you to use a form of time guaranteed delivery service which provides proof of delivery. There are a number of providers offering this service (eg An Post's Express Post service).
The 2014 Companies Act places the responsibility on the company itself for on-time DELIVERY of its annual return to the CRO.
If an annual return is delivered late, the CRO has no discretion in relation to the application of penalties and loss of audit exemption.
WHY NOT FOLLOW CRO ON TWITTER
CRO posts information on twitter regarding updates/changes to practices: https://twitter.com/cro_ie