COVID-19: Companies Registration Office Extends Annual Return Filing Period

In an important concession in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, company annual returns that are due to be filed at any time between 18 March 2020 and 31 October 2020 will be deemed to have been filed on time if the entire return and all associated documents are completed and filed by 31 October 2020.

In March 2020, the Companies Registration Office (the “CRO”) announced that this concession would be available for all duly-completed annual returns that are due to be filed by any company with CRO between 18 March and 30 June 2020.  However, this concessionary period has now been extended significantly, to the end of October 2020.

A similar but even lengthier concession – to 31 December 2020 – is being applied by the Registry of Friendly Societies.  This applies to:

  • Industrial and Provident Societies,
  • Friendly Societies, and
  • Trade Unions.

An entity’s filing obligations will be deemed to have been met provided that all elements of a relevant return have been submitted by the relevant date (31 October 2020 in the case of a filing with the CRO and 31 December 2020 in the case of a filing with the Registry of Friendly Societies).

In this way, for example, any company with an annual return date (“ARD”) from 19 February 2020 onward now has until 31 October 2020 in which to do so (so long as the annual return and all associated documents are complete by 31 October 2020).

Nonetheless, the CRO encourages entities to file as normal during this period if they are in a position to do so.  The pre-existing requirements for ‘wet ink’ signatures in relation to returns continue to apply during this concessionary period.

Although the CRO’s public office has been closed since 12 March 2020, the CRO is accepting the submission of returns via An Post only and these are being sorted for processing in both its Dublin and Carlow offices:

  • Companies Registration Office, Bloom House, Gloucester Place Lower, Dublin 1
  • Companies Registration Office, O’Brien Road, Carlow

If you require additional information please contact your usual Company Secretarial and Compliance Services team contact.

Also contributed by Aisling Smyth

This document has been prepared by McCann FitzGerald LLP for general guidance only and should not be regarded as a substitute for professional advice. Such advice should always be taken before acting on any of the matters discussed.