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Be aware of your company’s filing deadlines (and the benefits of preparing your year end accounts in a timely manner)

If you are an owner of a company, you will be well aware of the CRO and other deadlines for your company.  If your company is audit exempt, knowing that deadline is key to never incurring late filing fees or finding your company subject to STATUTORY AUDIT FOR TWO YEARS due to missing deadlines.

This is why accountants look for your books and records well in advance of any deadlines. We look months ahead and plan to have work done to avoid any delay in getting your accounts to the CRO or filing your company Corporation Tax return in advance of deadlines. Allowing plenty of time to avoid any unnecessary stress.

Some new companies (and some older), have annual return dates that may be early. That is, they don’t extend to the maximum amount of time that could be allowed to file the return. Therefore knowing your ARD (annual return date) is key. You can apply to extend your ARD to the maximum amount of time once every five years. The maximum amount of time for filing to CRO allows a period of almost eleven months to file your company accounts. Therefore the tax filing deadline of almost nine months post year end, may be your reminder point for preparing your accounts.

It is preferable not to wait that long. Obviously as accountants, we need time to review work and rushing against deadlines is not the way we ever want to operate. That’s why I mention working at least four months back from any deadline. It still allows plenty of time post year end to have the books and records ready for your accountant.

The Companies Office have changed their internal systems over the past year. Always trying to improve their service offering and move with the times. They receive documents through online filing systems now however, you still have to post some paperwork (this is where confusion can arise).

While as accountants, we are very familiar with the new procedures, this can cause hassle for individuals filing one return a year and not being up to date with CRO rules.

From the 1st of June 2018 the CRO will no longer be accepting cheques to top up your account. The use of cheques is being phased out.

In the CRO’s latest newsletter (12.2.18) they state the financial statements must be uploaded prior to sending in a signed signature page. If a signature page is received and there are no financial statements uploaded then this annual return will be rejected. Companies will not be given 14 days to upload the financial statements.

They also remind people that if you upload your financial statements after the 28 day period allowed following the capture of the B1 online, then your full annual return is late and you will be charged a late penalty and, where relevant, lose your audit exemption for two years.

While the penalty of €100 on the day the return is late and the €3 fine per day thereafter is not a large cost, the cost of losing audit exemption can be very expensive.

As you may be aware, the audit threshold for companies in Ireland is now at a very high level. If your company satisfies TWO or more of the following conditions in the current financial year and the preceding financial year (unless it’s your first year trading);

Turnover does not exceed €12 million

Balance sheet total does not exceed €6 million

Number of employees does not exceed 50

(Exemption is not available to public companies except Companies Limited by Guarantee)

See CRO for further information https://www.cro.ie/Annual-Return/Financial-Statements-Requirements/Audit-Exemption

Therefore, many small companies in Ireland are now availing of the audit exemption. They prepare statutory financial statements and may have their accountant check their tax affairs are in order (depending on their engagement terms). It is important to be clear about the terms you have in place with your accountant.

As always, I encourage everyone to prepare early and ensure you know your company deadline dates to work with your accountant to ensure no deadlines are missed.

Note: There may be other implications of missing deadlines (tax implication or banking implications) however, this note is only a guidance to encourage company directors and owners to be aware of deadlines, prepare year end accounts early to allow filing deadlines to be met (and this notes some of the potential implications of missing a CRO deadline). Be sure to talk to your accountant in relation to your own company deadlines.

(Please email Wendy@williamsmerrigan.ie if you have any queries)

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