Annual Return (B1) and Dormant Accounts

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An Annual Return (B1)  is a snapshot of certain information about a company’s directors, secretary, registered office address, shareholders and share capital.

Important: The Annual Return is not to be confused with annual accounts. Annual accounts are financial accounts, profit & loss, Balance Sheet etc. Both, however, are legally required to be filed to Companies Registration Office on an annual basis. If you are unsure which is due please contact us and we can check for you.


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B1 Annual Returns and Dormant Accounts FAQ.

When to file B1 Annual Return?

Each company has an Annual Return Date allocated to it by CRO and it can be checked using the CRO Company Search facility. The Annual Return Date (ARD) of a company is the latest date to which an annual return must be made up. The annual return must be filed with the CRO within 28 days of the Annual Return Date (ARD).

For example a company incorporated on 10 March 2020 is due to make its first annual return up to 10 September 2020, its Annual Return Date (ARD). On filing this return, its next annual return date becomes 10 September 2021.

Penalties for late Annual returns

Failure to submit a company’s annual return yearly can have serious implications for a company. If the company misses its ARD (Annual Return Date) the company will incur late fees of €100.00 on the first day and €3 a day after that until the return is submitted, the late fees are capped at €1220.00 an annual return.

The company will also lose its right to claim its audit exemption for the next 2 years, this means that an auditor is required by law to sign off a company’s accounts for the 2 years in question regardless of whether the company is trading or not. This extra cost means that you are needless adding an extra €600.00 a year cost for an audit for a dormant company and at least an extra €1500.00 a year on to the cost of your accounts for a trading company.

The most serious implication for a company that doesn’t submit its Annual Return is that the CRO can involuntary Strike off the company and the assets of the company become the property of the State on dissolution of the company.

If your company is involuntary struck off, there can also be unpleasant consequences for directors of such companies in that a disqualification order may be made against them by the High Court on the application of the Director of Corporate Enforcement.

How to submit the Annual return?

An annual return must be completed online and presenters can use CRO CORE platform. The payment for B1 must be made by customer account or debit/credit card.

You have 28 days from your Annual Return Date to file your annual return (B1) online. You then have a further 28 days from the date you file your annual return (B1) online to upload your financial statements and to have your signature page received in the CRO.

Your financial statements must be uploaded before your signature page is sent in to the CRO and both must be completed within 28 days of the date you filed your B1 on-line.

Who needs to sign the Annual return?

The Annual Return requires the signatures of both the director and the secretary.

A single director company cannot satisfy CRO requirements by the signature of the sole director in a dual capacity as both director and secretary. Two different people have to sign off on the form.

Equally companies with two directors signing off on the form B1: the one individual as director cannot sign the same form as both secretary and director. The second director is required to sign as well..

What need to be Submitted with the Annual Return.

All Annual Returns (except the first one) requires up to date abridged accounts to be filed with it. These are also known as financial statements.

Abridged accounts need to be prepared even if your company has no profit or is dormant. This means that you still need to complete this filing even if there is no activity within the company.

What is a Dormant Company.

A dormant company is one that doesn’t trade and has no accounting transactions.

I need more time, Can I extend my Annual Return Due Date?

If you missed the due date you cannot extend the Annual Return Date.

If you didnt miss the Annual Return Date and If you need more time to prepare your Financial Statements, you can extend your Annual Return due date by up to 6 months but by no more than 9 months from the Financial Year End of the Company. E.g. If a company’s financial year end is the 31 December and its next annual return is the 30 June, the company can only extend it to the 31 September and not to the 31 Dec, as the Annual return can’t be extended any further than 9 months from the financial year end.

Can I extend my Annual Return Due Date more than once?

No you can only extend your Annual Return Due Date once every 5 years.

If I miss my Annual Return Due Date, Can I get it back.

If you missed your deadline, You can choose to take a missed deadline case to Court to extend your ARD.

The Court may offer an exemption from this loss of audit penalty if you can demonstrate that you had a good reason for missing the deadline, e.g. illness or family crisis. If you win the case, you’ll still need to file your Annual Return and prepare accounts as the Court only offers to an extension of the ARD.

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