2019 Ezine Newsletter

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CRO Newsletter - Issue 197 - 4th November 2019


Over many years the CRO has issued credit notes to customers in place of cash refunds. Following legal advice received by CRO, and as part of CRO`s to intention to move to a full e-payments based system for all monies charged and received from customers, it is the CRO`s intention to phase out the acceptance of historic credit notes.  This will commence on 1 January 2020 and be implemented on a rolling six-year basis.

Thus, all credit notes issued by CRO dated prior to 1 January 2014 will not be honoured as payment from customers for either charges for services or customer account receipts, from that date. 


The CRO cannot guarantee that submissions received after the dates set out below will be processed before the Christmas break.

Ordinary scheme 3 December 2019
Fé phrainn scheme 9 December 2019
A1 on line scheme 13 December 2019
Change of name 9 December 2019
Re-registrations 9 December 2019
Company name reservations 19 December 2019


52,968 companies registered with the CRO had an annual return date of 30th September 2019 and a filing deadline of 28th October 2019. As the 28th fell on a bank holiday weekend, peak filing date for 2019 was Tuesday 29th October.

It has been two years since the introduction of electronic filing for the submission of Annual Returns and associated financial statements. We are pleased to report that 98% of companies filed on time. Only 1,052 companies did not file on time. Mandatory e-filing and uploading of associated financial statements have contributed greatly to the increase in compliance. Information providers across the CRO were steadily busy in the week leading up to the peak with the majority being filed on Friday 25th October and Tuesday 29th October on both CORE or via software packages.

To avoid late filing fees or loss of audit exemption presenters should now ensure that the correct financial statements are uploaded, the signature page is signed and dated, all relevant documentation is delivered to the CRO 28 days after the B1 is submitted.

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Once the B1 (Annual Return form) has been filed on CORE within 28 days of the annual return date, the Financial Statements must be uploaded as a single PDF no later than the end of the second 28 days and BEFORE the signature page is delivered to the CRO.

Companies and Presenters should ensure that they provide the correct email addresses, one that is monitored regularly, to ensure they are alerted when their documents are sent back as they no longer receive a letter or documents by post. Provisions should be put in place that prevent emails from the CRO going to Spam or being blocked.

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 the signature page is received and processed. 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 following two years.

CRO Account holders should ensure that there is sufficient money in their account to cover the transaction before submitting their documents.


The Register of Beneficial Ownership of Companies and Industrial & Provident Societies (RBO) was established by Statutory Instrument 110/2019 and opened on 29 July 2019.

Under the SI, companies and societies have until Friday 22 NOVEMBER 2019 to file their data with the RBO.

Failure to complete the required filing by 22 NOVEMBER may result in the company/society being prosecuted and fined. Filing of beneficial ownership data can be done online through a portal in the RBO website - www.rbo.gov.ie. No information can be filed with the RBO on paper and there are no filing fees.

Further information can be found on the RBO website - www.rbo.gov.ie. If the company/society cannot find an answer to a question in the FAQs on the RBO website, they can send an e-mail to enquiries@rbo.gov.ie. For updates, please follow the RBO on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RBO_ie and on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/company/central-rbo/  


In the three months since the RBO opened, a high number of submissions have failed to register.

In order to comply with the EU's Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive, the Registrar is required to validate the data entered in the RBO in respect of each beneficial owner. This is to ensure that the natural person exists, is still alive and to avoid duplication on the Register.

As part of the validation process, Registrar compares the data filed with the RBO against the data registered with the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection (DEASP) for that person.

To-date, the most common reasons for a submission to be rejected is that one or more of the following details do not match the details held by DEASP:
- First Name,
- Last Name,
- PPSN and/or
- Date of Birth.

The most common mis-matches are in the DOB/PPSN combination.

The most common name mis-matches are:
- maiden name used instead of married name and vice versa,
- middle name used which is not registered with DEASP (middle names are not required in the RBO),
- shortened version or variation of a name, when DEASP has the full/formal version,
- Irish version of a name, when English version is registered with DEASP and vice versa.

Before entering details for a beneficial owner, the company/society should ensure that they are using the same First Name, Last Name, PPSN and Date of Birth registered with the DEASP for that person.

These details can be checked by the beneficial owner contacting DEASP at http://www.welfare.ie/en/Pages/Personal-Public-Service-Number-Registration-Centres-by-Count.aspx

Further information on common reasons why submissions fail to register can be found in FAQ 14.1 on the RBO website - www.rbo.gov.ie  

The Registrar of Beneficial Ownership is obliged by law to verify the identity of beneficial owners in order to comply with the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering directive that requires the register to be “adequate, accurate and current”.

For beneficial owners who do not have a PPSN, the Registrar has determined that the Form BEN2 - Declaration as to Verification of Identity - will be the method used to verify the person’s identity.

The BEN2 serves two purposes. It enables the Registrar to verify the identity of a beneficial owner who does not have a PPSN and it is an application for an RBO Number which can be used in all future RBO filings for that person unless he/she obtains a PPSN, in which case the PPSN must be used.

The fillable BEN2 form is currently available to download from the RBO Website at www.rbo.gov.ie and from the RBO Portal which can be accessed through the RBO website. The facility to upload the completed BEN2 and apply for an RBO Number is NOW LIVE.

Only one BEN2 is required in respect of each beneficial owner and once this has been processed successfully and an RBO Number issued by the Registrar, that RBO Number can be used for making future beneficial ownership filings for that person.

The BEN2 form requires the beneficial owner to sign a statement saying that they do not have a PPS number assigned to them. Any relevant entity that submits a BEN2 application containing such a statement knowing that it is false, commits an offence and is liable to prosecution. For more information visit FAQ No 12 on the RBO website - https://www.rbo.gov.ie/faqs.html  

Helpful Hints in relation to the BEN2 form:

  • Please ensure that the first name, last name and date of birth entered in the RBO Portal are exactly the same as the information on the BEN2 form. Otherwise the BEN2 application may be rejected.
  • Middle names are NOT required on either the BEN2 form or in the RBO Portal.
  • Part A of the BEN2 must be completed fully and either Part 2 OR Part 3 signed by the Declarant (the beneficial owner) and signed & stamped by the witness (eg the Notary Public).
  • Since the BEN2 upload facility went live, a high number of BEN2 forms have been filed. As each individual form must undergo a visual check, it may take a number of days before an RBO Number is issued. In the meantime, please no not submit a second BEN2 form for the same person.
  • Once you have received an e-mail to say the BEN2 has been received, no further action is required – an e-mail with the RBO Number or a Rejection e-Mail explaining the reason for rejection will be issued in a matter of days.
  • Presenters are requested to inform each beneficial owner of their RBO Number as they may need it to file with the RBO for another company which may be using a different presenter. 

Further Information:

  • More information, FAQ’s, and videos on how to file with the RBO are available at www.rbo.gov.ie.
  • If you cannot find an answer to a question in the FAQs, you can send an e-mail to enquiries@rbo.gov.ie  
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