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Advice from CRO…
The Companies Registration Office (CRO) is aware that some companies
are currently facing trading difficulties.  The legal obligation to file
an annual return and accounts still exists in such circumstances and
there are severe consequences if this is not complied with, including
late filing penalties, loss of audit exemption, involuntary strike-off
and possible prosecution. The late filing penalty and requirement to
file audited accounts are legally applicable notwithstanding a plea of
economic hardship and the CRO is not in a position to waive these sanctions
on that basis.

Likewise, the fact that a company is not currently trading or has never
traded does not remove the legal obligation to file prompt and accurate
annual returns and accounts with the CRO.

The consequences of late filing can be avoided by filing annual
returns and accounts on time, even when the company is experiencing
difficulties or is not trading.

If a company is not trading, has no outstanding debts or liabilities and
wishes to remove itself from the Register in an orderly manner, it can
do so by following the Voluntary Strike-Off procedure.


Where, however, such a company has outstanding debts or liabilities,
voluntary liquidation is the appropriate route to have the company
removed from the register, and advice ought to be obtained by the company
in respect of the liquidation procedure.

CRO would advise companies who are in danger of missing their annual
return filing deadline to engage with the CRO before the deadline as there may
be options available, such as the extension of the filing deadline using
a Form B73 (see below), which would allow the company some further time
(up to six months) before an annual return with accounts attached has to be
filed with the CRO.

Once the company’s filing deadline has passed, it is too late to retrieve
the situation and CRO is legally obliged to apply late filing penalties
and the loss of audit exemption to the company concerned.

The number to ring is the CRO Information Unit: 1800-220-226 or 01-8045200.


An annual return (Form B1 and accounts) is a document setting out certain
prescribed company information which is required to be delivered by an
Irish company, whether trading or not, to the CRO once at least in every
calendar year.

Link to CRO website, annual returns:


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