Most Irish companies have a financial year end date of 31 December and ideally an annual return date (ARD) of 30 September.
These companies must deliver all elements of the annual return with financial statements to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) not later than 25 November 2022.
Failure to file an annual return on time can have a number of consequences:
Late Filing Penalty
Annual returns which are filed late with the CRO incur a late filing penalty of €100 with effect from the expiry of the company’s filing deadline, with a daily penalty of €3 accruing thereafter, up to a maximum of €1,200 per return.
Loss of Audit Exemption
Failure to file an annual return on time in the current year, other than when filing a first annual return, will result in a company losing any audit exemption for the next two years
Prosecution of Companies and Directors
Companies and directors of companies who fail to file an annual return with the CRO under section 343 of the Companies Act 2014 may be prosecuted under section 865 of the Companies Act 2014 and face an on-the-spot fine of up to €5,000 for persistent late filing.
Involuntary Strike Off
Failure to file an annual return in respect of any one year, may result in a Company being struck off the register and dissolved which will result in limited liability protection being lost with effect from the date of strike off and the assets of a company will vest in the State by operation of law.
Companies should ensure that there are no errors or omissions in their annual returns or financial statements otherwise an annual return may be returned by the CRO and a fully compliant submission must then be re-delivered to the CRO within 14 days.