Recent legislative changes have altered the manner in which part of the penalty for late filing of annual returns is applied. Where a company is late in filing its annual return, it will not lose the entitlement to an audit exemption in the financial year that was late, but instead, audit exemption will be lost in the following two years. This change will avoid a costly and time-consuming audit of the already completed year. This change is covered under section 10 of the 2018 Act which commenced on 21st September 2018 and applies with immediate effect.

What obligations does a company have? Each year a company must file an annual return and a set of financial statements with the CRO.

When does a company have to fill a return by? Every company has an annual return date (ARD). The company must file its annual return and accounts within 28 days of its annual return date.

What information is contained in the annual return? The annual return contains details of the following at the date of the annual return:

  • Company Directors
  • Company Secretary
  • Company Registered Address
  • Shareholders and their respective shareholdings
  • Accounts year end


What happens when the documents are receive by the CRO? The annual return and abridged accounts are scanned by the CRO and are made available to the public online on request. Company Law requires that a limited liability company must allow public access to its filings with the CRO.

What happens if the company does not file its returns and accounts on time with the CRO? There are late fees of €100 plus €3 per day if a company fails to file its annual return on time with the CRO. The company will also lose its ‘audit exempt’ status for the 2 years after the late year. This means that the accounts will need to be reviewed and signed off by an auditor prior to submission to the CRO which can be very costly. It is very important that if your company has audit exempt status, (most small Irish companies automatically qualify for this), that the company meets all deadlines with the CRO to retain its audit exempt status and to avoid any unnecessary costs.

Where can I get more Information? If you would like more information, or if you are concerned about your company meeting its filing requirements with the CRO, don’t hesitate to contact our dedicated team of Accountants on: Email    Phone           01 8077106

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