Mandatory Electronic Filing

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) introduced mandatory electronic filing for the submission of the following documents on 1st June 2017 in accordance with S.I. No. 458 of 2016 and Section 897, Companies Act 2014.

  • B1 - Annual Return (including financial statements and electronic payment)
  • B2 - Change of registered office
  • B10 - Change of director and/or secretary, or a change in their particulars
  • B73 - Nomination of a new annual return date

This change applied to all Irish companies. Companies and Presenters should ensure that they provide the correct email addresses to ensure they are alerted, if and when their documents are sent back, as they do not receive a letter or their 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. 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. 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

Benefits of Electronic Filing

A large proportion of CRO’s customers are already enjoying the benefits of electronic filing which in recent years has delivered substantial savings in paper, printing and postage costs as well as in filing fees.  In 2016, the percentages of B1s, B2s, B10s and B73s filed electronically with the CRO were close to, or over, 80%. 
The major benefits of e-filing these documents are:

  • There is NO FEE for filing Forms B2, B10 and B73 electronically.
  • The fee for filing an e-B1 is €20 compared with the old €40 fee for filing a paper B1.
  • Errors on documents are minimised as the user is alerted if any information they enter is inconsistent with the information already held on CRO’s records for that company.
  • Registration is faster and more efficient.
  • The amount of paper to be printed and posted to the CRO is reduced to one page in most cases or no pages at all if ROS (Revenue Online Service) certificates are used. 

For presenters who have filed B1’s electronically in the past, the main changes since 2017 are as follows:

PDF of Financial Statements:

  • all financial statements MUST be uploaded as a PDF attachment on CORE/software package within 28 days of the date the e-B1 was submitted. Hard copies of the financial statements will not be accepted by the CRO. 
  • the PDF of the financial statements can be attached to the e-B1 in your Workspace in CORE/ software package, in much the same way as you attach a document to an e-mail. 
  • 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 or rejected as they will no longer receive a letter or documents by post.  

Electronic Payment:

  • the filing fee and any late filing penalties MUST be paid electronically by credit /debit card or by CRO Customer Account. You will not be able to complete the submission of the e-B1 without first making the payment at the submission stage. 
  • It is not possible to pay the filing fee of €20 and/or any late penalties by cheque, postal order, money order or bank draft.

Filing a form electronically for the first time

All forms can be filed electronically using CRO’s online filing system CORE or through a secretarial software package.

To file electronically on CORE you must first register as a new user. Once you are registered you can log in and go to “File a Form”, select your submission (e.g. B1) and complete the form. There are links on CORE to help you if you encounter any difficulties when filing online. 
Signing a B1 form filed electronically

When filing the B1 form the company has three options for signing the form. The option chosen will dictate what, if any, additional documents must be delivered to the CRO.

B1 Signing Options Required to be delivered to the CRO

1 Manual Signing
The signature page must be printed and signed by a Director and Secretary. The signature page must then be sent to the CRO, O’Brien Road, Carlow.
The submission is not complete until the manual signature page is received in the CRO.

2 The company's Electronic Filing Agent signs digitally using ROS Certificate (Revenue Online Service) Two pages – (1) a Patch Page (provided by CORE/software package) to be delivered with
(2) an Overall Certification for the uploaded financial statements signed by a Director and Secretary

3 A Director and Secretary sign the B1 digitally with ROS Certificates (Revenue Online Service) No paper - Fully Electronic - nothing required to be physically delivered to the CRO

Signatures on Financial Statements

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. 

Important points to note when filing a B1 form: 

  • Once an e-B1 is submitted online not later than 28 days after the ARD, the company has a further 28 days to either digitally sign the B1 (in which case no paperwork may need to be delivered to the CRO) or manually sign and deliver the signature page to the CRO.
  • If the B1 signature page is not printed, signed and delivered to the CRO within 28 days of the B1 being submitting online, the annual return will be late and the company will incur late filing fees and lose audit exemption in the following two years. 
  • 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. 

Further Information

To Upload PDF accounts

In CORE, when you have filed your B1 successfully, go to your "Workspace". Under "Document Management" you will see 4 icons. Click on the icon "Upload PDF Accounts".

Image CORE website

You will then be presented with a screen to upload your accounts (financial statements).Please ensure where the company has not signed the B1 electronically a signature page and fee (if applicable) must be forwarded to the CRO within 28 days even where the financial statements are uploaded. Where the B1 is signed electronically you will receive a cover sheet to send in with the fee if it was not paid by customer account or credit/debit card.

If you have chosen to sign electronically and pay with a customer account  or by credit card, then the submission is entirely electronic, so no signature page or cover sheet is needed unless your are signing as an EFA. As EFAs cannot in law certify the accounts they must attach an overall certificate (original signatures) to the patch page and file it with the CRO on or before the annual return's due date.

Pdf symbol CERTIFICATE for EFAs filing Financial Statements.pdf