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 Annual Return and provide you with advice on what happens if you miss your deadline.
We’re also available via phone, email or live chat if you want to discuss your Annual Return – we’re happy to help!
What do you need to file the Annual Return?
This is a CRO form that needs to be completed, signed by one director and the company secretary and submitted to the CRO.
You or your accountant needs to prepare accounts, sometimes called financial statements, and upload them to the CRO.
56 days to file Annual Returns
Within 56 days of your Annual Return Date, companies have to:
- Prepare the annual return in CORE – the CRO’s filing system
- Upload the financial statements
- Generate the signature page to be signed
- Upload the signed PDF signature page in CORE
- Pay the filing fee (€20)
Note that the signature page is generated after the financial statements are uploaded so it’s important to engage with an accountant to prepare your accounts well in advance of your Annual Return Date to ensure your deadline is met.
If you need our help taking care of your Annual Return (Form B1 and financial statements), talk to our Client Services Team now and we’re happy to talk you through the process.
What is the Form B1?
This form can be completed online using CORE.ie or you can outsource this duty to a professional. It outlines the company’s information, such as the names of directors, company secretary, and shareholders.
The document needs to be signed by one director and the company secretary and it must be in wet ink. This means you need to have access to a printer.
From the 16th of December 2020, the signed document must be scanned and uploaded to the CRO’s digital system. This is a new system that removes the requirement of posting the original document to the CRO which is a great advancement from the previous manual method.
What are abridged accounts?
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.
If you outsource to an accountant, you need to send them your books and records so they can prepare the accounts. Annual Returns are time-sensitive, so you need to make sure you give your accountant enough time to calculate your accounts.
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.
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 the Form B1 on time will mean your company faces fines 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 on what you need to do, or outsource the task to an accountant.
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.
Want to outsource your Annual Return?
If you’ve missed your Annual Return or if you’re interested in offloading the requirement to maintain your deadline, we offer a full range of Compliance and Accountancy services that can help!
Talk to our Client Services team now and we’ll find the best services for your needs.
Call us on +353 (0)1 905 9364, email email@example.com, or chat online.
We’re here to help!