Late in the CRO

When you form a limited company, you have more paper work obligations. Not only do you have to report to the Revenue, you also now have to deal with the CRO- the companies registration office. But what happens if you forget about the CRO and your annual return to them is late?

What is an annual return?

The annual return is a form (B1) you need to submit either electronically or physically to the CRO every year, once a year. It gives details of your business and your accounts.

When do I have to file by?

Every company has their own specific annual return date and it depends on your year end. Generally speaking you  will get a letter from the CRO informing you of your NARD – Next Annual Return Date. It’s best not to ignore this date.

A new company’s first Annual Return Date (ARD) is six months after the date of incorporation of the company and no accounts need to be filed with the first return. Normally the ARD is the same date every year thereafter unless the company has applied to change the date. It can be no later than nine months aftter the company year-end though as the accounts attached must be older than nine months.

What happens if I am late?

If you don’t file on time these are the possible consequences;

  • Late filing penalty- this starts at €100 and goes up by €3 a day.
  • Loss of audit exemption- you will need to get your next 2 sets of accounts audited.
  • Prosecution of directors
  • Company strike off

What do I do next?

If you know that you have missed your ARD the first step is for you or your accountant to file what’s known as your B1 straight away. This will stop the fines mounting and will buy you some time. You will most likely need to get your accounts audited so you will need to appoint an auditor to help you with this.

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