Legislation to transpose the provisions of EU Directive 2013/34/EU (the “2013 Directive”) into Irish law is expected to be introduced in the coming months. The 2013 Directive replaces and amends previous EU company law directives dealing with the requirements for companies to prepare annual audited financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related matters. The 2013 Directive will also have implications for the requirements for Irish unlimited companies to publicly file their audited financial statements at the Companies Registration Office (“CRO”).
Although the 2013 Directive is not prescriptive as to how Member States can achieve it, the Irish implementing legislation will need to ensure that Irish unlimited liability companies within group structures in which the ultimate shareholders have the benefit of limited liability are required to make public their audited financial statements. Unlimited liability companies which currently fall outside the filing requirements are therefore likely, as a general rule, to be required to file a copy of their audited financial statements with their annual return filing at the CRO for future financial periods.
The 2013 Directive will also introduce revised provisions relating to the preparation of financial statements by Irish companies as well as revised thresholds for determining small, medium and large companies and “public interest entities", with simplifications being introduced for small companies and new obligations for large and medium sized companies (including groups) and “public interest entities”.
The Irish implementing legalisation will amend (where required) the Companies Act 2014 and, in line with the requirement in the 2013 Directive, is expected to have effect for financial years beginning on or after 1 January 2016.