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  • Late Annual Return

    Late Annual Return?

    Missing the filing date of your Company’s Annual Return can be a very expensive mistake as not alone are there late filing fees but more importantly, the loss of an audit exemption can lead to very significant additional costs for your Company.
    Following the commencement of the 2014 Companies Act on 1 June 2015, a company which has missed, or knows that it will miss the deadline for filing its Annual Return with the CRO, may make an Application to the District Court for an Order to extend the time for delivery of its Annual Return. Previously, jurisdiction lay only with the High Court. The District Court may, if it is satisfied that it would be just to do so, make an Order extending the time in which the Annual Return of the company may be delivered to the Registrar of Companies. The 2014 Act now provides a cost effective solution on your doorstep.

    No Late Filing Fees or Loss of Audit Exemption
    The extension of time to file an Annual Return does not alter the Annual return Date (ArD) of the company. If the company delivers the Annual Return for the year in question to the CRO within the extended time period specified by the Court, the Annual Return will have been delivered on time and company will not have to pay late filing penalties or lose its Audit Exemption (if applicable). In other words, the Annual Return will be treated by the CRO as having been delivered on time and the consequences of late filing will not apply to that Annual Return.

    Notice to Registrar of Companies
    The Application to the Court must also be made on notice to the Registrar of Companies, who may well object unless there is a compelling reason why the Annual Return was or will be late. The reason or reasons for the delay must be set out on an affidavit supported by appropriate documentary proof which must clearly explain WHY IT HAS NOT BEEN POSSIBLE TO PREPARE THE ANNUAL RETURN. The Registrar of Companies will typically lodge an objection to the Court if a weak reason is furnished in the Application. The Registrar of Companies has flagged that reasons such as administrative delay or documents getting lost in the post are not sufficient reasons and will lead to an objection. If the Registrar of Companies objects to your Court Application, the District Judge is much more likely to reject your Application and side with the Registrar of Companies. Therefore careful preparation of your Application by Morgan McManus Solicitors with a well drafted affidavit outlining the circumstances as the why it was not possible to prepare the Annual Return is critical to the likelihood of success.

    No Change of Registered Office
    Some Dublin companies are promoting this service where Applications are made before the District Court in Dublin, but this requires the Company to change its Registered Office to a Dublin address. Imagine the confusion this would create where previously all your important correspondence was sent either to the Company address or to your local Accountants!

    So, for companies with registered offices in counties Cavan or Monaghan, Morgan McManus Solicitors are happy to make Applications to the local District Court for such an extension of time. Please contact us at fmcmanus@morgancmanus.ie or 047 51011

    Solicitor, Chartered Tax Adviser and Notary Public
    Morgan McManus Solicitors