Who needs to file Annual Returns?
Irish Limited Companies need to file Annual Returns (AKA “Form B1”) to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) once a year. This is a requirement even if you have no profit or haven’t started trading.
This guide will answer some of your common questions about the Limited Company Annual Return, highlight what is required to file the B1 Annual Return, and provide you with advice on what happens if you miss your deadline.
If you need support submitting this return, reach out to our Client Services Team – we are here to help.
When should the Annual Return be filed?
- The first Annual Return is filed 6 months after your company’s date of incorporation.
- All subsequent Annual Returns are filed every 12 months.
- You can apply for an extension of your Annual Return Date, if necessary. This needs to be filed before your Annual Return deadline so talk to a professional if you need help.
Failure to file an Annual Return on time will mean your company faces fines of up to €1,200 per year, as well as the loss of your audit exemption. These are large additional costs that can easily be avoided.
But try not to panic, if you missed your deadline, talk to the CRO about what you need to do, or talk to our Client Services Team for more information on how we can help.
How to find your Annual Return filing date?
The quickest and easiest way to find your Annual Return date is to check the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website, CORE.
Enter your company name or number into the search bar and view the details of your company.
If you are unsure or you have received a letter from the CRO regarding your Annual Return, feel free to reach out to our Client Services Team for more information on your specific circumstances.
What do you need to file an Annual Return?
What is the process for filing an Annual Return?
Prepare the Form B1 in CORE
Upload the financial statements
Upload the signed PDF signature page in CORE
Prepare the Form B1 in CORE
Pay the filing fee (€20)
What is the Form B1?
The Form B1 is the first thing that is completed during the Annual Return process. It outlines the company’s information, such as the names of directors, company secretary, shareholders, and share capital.
If there have been any changes in the company over the year, for example, new directors were added or you changed address, it’s important that the CRO was informed of these changes before the Annual Return is due. The information you complete in the Form B1 must match what the CRO has in their records.
It is completed online using CORE.ie or you can outsource this duty to a professional, like Accountant Online, who can ensure that the filing has all the correct and up-to-date information.
What are abridged accounts?
Abridged accounts are condensed versions of full financial statements. They need to be uploaded to CORE when your Annual Return is due.
Abridged accounts need to be prepared even if your company has no profit or is dormant.
It’s also important to note that a copy of your company’s abridged accounts will be publically available on the CRO website for anyone who wishes to inspect them.
As a business owner, you might consider outsourcing this requirement to an accountant, who can keep track of your Annual Return Deadline and ensure that your financial statements are prepared on time.
What is the B1 signature page?
The B1 signature page is another CRO filing requirement and is generated after the financial statements are uploaded. This document needs to be printed and signed by one director and the Company Secretary and then uploaded to CORE.
It’s important that the signatures are original and completed in wet ink as digital signatures are not allowed.
Once this page has been uploaded and the fees have been paid, your Annual Return is under review by the Companies Registration Office.
What's included in the first Annual Return?
A company’s first Annual Return contains information about the company. This includes details about the Company Directors, Company Secretary, Shareholders, and how many shares they own.
Usually, this is the same information that you set the company up with. But if any changes occurred within the first six months after incorporation, this is the time to tell the CRO.
No abridged accounts/financial statements are required with your first Annual Return. So it can be a quick and easy submission, as long as you remember to do it.
What happens after the first Annual Return?
Your second Annual Return is due 18 months after the date of incorporation and all future Annual Returns will be every 12 months. The difference with this filing is that there are abridged accounts due.
Abridged accounts are a summary of your financial statements – covering profit/loss, assets, income and expenditure.
Although they don’t represent a full set of accounts, they are available to anyone who wishes to view them on the CRO website. This means it is important to get them right.
If you have an Annual Return deadline coming up, get in touch with us. We can take care of the accounts preparation and file your Annual Return.
Do all companies need to file Annual Returns?
Filing your Annual Return is obligatory even if you are not trading yet or if your company is dormant.
Companies that don’t have any turnover or profit still need to complete this filing and they face the same consequences if missed.
Check out the other compliance requirements for new companies in Ireland.
If you need help with your company’s compliance and accounting requirements, talk to us now.
Helpful advice for filing your Annual Return
Checking your Annual Return
You can check the date your company was incorporated on your Certificate of Incorporation or check the CRO website.
If you’ve missed your Annual Return, talk to the CRO or call our Client Services Team. Don't panic if you're missed your deadline!
Annual Return reminder
The CRO usually sends a reminder 6 weeks before your next Annual Return Date by email. Missing this email could lead to hefty fines and penalties for your company, so it might be a good idea to outsource to a professional who will keep an eye on this deadline for you.
New digital procedure
The CRO has a strict filing procedure around Annual Returns and it's changing from the 16 December 2020. Talk to us about outsourcing your Annual Return so you can have peace of mind that your Annual Return is being taken care of.
Rachel is a certified company secretary from The Law Society College Dublin and currently leads the Company Secretarial Team at Accountant Online. Areas of expertise include Company Formation in Ireland and the UK, Company Secretarial procedures and regulations, and the Companies Act 2014 relating to small business and company directors.