The introduction of mandatory electronic filing forced all presenters and companies to electronically file annual returns. Most people have had experience in electronic filing but like any process there are challenges and issued to be aware of.
This article will attempt to highlight some of the important areas to consider in advance of the deadline and help avoid as many issues as possible
The reason so many companies have to file this month is the companies have a 31 December financial year end and a 30 September ARD. With the 28 day deadline falling on Saturday and the bank holiday on the Monday, companies have until Tuesday 31st October to e-file the Annual Return (for 30 September ARD’s) .
If you leave it until 31 October to file the annual return you risk spending all day trying to file returns or worse missing the deadline altogether! The best advice is to file on the Thursday or Friday and enjoy the bank holiday in peace!
- Don’t leave filing the Annual Return until 28 October With so many companies looking to file on the last day there is no doubt the system will slow or if you are sick or cannot file the annual return for any reason and any company with audit exempt companies could risk missing the deadline and loosing audit exemption.
- CRO are not rejecting documents by post. The CRO will reject the document in CORE and send an email to the presenter. The company will then have 14 days to re-file the annual return, have the return re-signed and filed in CRO.
- Check what Presenter email address is entered on the B1 Form? – If the annual return is incorrect or has to be rejected for any reason, the CRO do not send the return back by post any longer.
If the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org who is checking that inbox for rejected returns. Also check your clutter, SPAM and JUNK emails are often the emails end up in these folders.
The annual return is not filed until it is showing up as received and registered in CRO
- The B1 must be signed by 2 separate people. The company secretary cannot also sign as the director. The signatures must be original signatures.
- Separate certificate required If the Electronic Filing Agent has signed the B1 on behalf of the company. A separate certificate must be signed by a director and secretary certifying the financial statements are a true copy of the original. If you have filed the annual return in CORE and the director and secretary sign the form there is no requirement for the separate certificate.
- Express Post should be used when sending documents to the CRO particularly audit exempt companies or any company close to the deadline. Express Post gives a time guaranteed date of delivery and the only system CRO will stand over. Registered Post does not give a guarantee date of delivery.
- Format of the financial statements must be correct and all exemption statements should be included on the balance sheet or the financial statements could be rejected.
- Check before you file has there been any changes during the year and make sure this iis reflected on the B1 particularly transfer of shares as this does not require a CRO form to be filed.
- To avail of the audit exemption the last annual return to which financial statements were attached and the current annual return is filed on time. If the 6 month was filed late and the next annual return is filed on time these financial statements can be audit exempt.
- AGM’s are still required to be held for all companies or pass a written resolution of the members can be passed for all LTD companies or other single member companies.
- The job is not completed until the annual return and financial statements are received and registered – many companies loose audit exemption because the annual return or financial statements go missing or are returned to the presenter and not returned within 14 days. The job is not done until the B1 and financial statements are registered!
How Can CLS Help
CLS can assist in reviewing your annual compliance procedures to ensure they help the firm or the company manage its CRO filing obligations efficiently. For more information please contact Conor on 059 9186776
Our CLS Insights aims to bring you practical information and news on Company Law and Company Secretarial. We cover the topics that matter to your business and give practical tips and also the benefit our experiences. Please remember this article is a guide and legal advice should always be obtained. If you have any queries please contact one of the team and we would be happy to help.