From 1 June 2017, E-filing is now mandatory for each of the following Companies Registration Office (“CRO”) documents:
When e-filing Form B1 Annual Returns, the associated financial statements must be uploaded as PDF attachments through CORE or other software packages such as Blueprint or GEMS. Paper copies are no longer accepted by the CRO.
For companies with a financial year end of 31 December, 30 September of the following year is the optimum date to which the company can make its Form B1 – Annual Return. Doing this will allow the company to make the most of the nine months which are allowed to exist between a company's Financial Year End and its Annual Return Date (“ARD”).
The ARD may be changed by either filing a Form B73 to extend it by a maximum of six months, or it may make its Annual Return up to a date earlier than its current ARD and nominate the earlier date as the new ARD going forward.
Annual General Meetings (“AGMs”) should be held within nine months of the date of the company’s balance sheet. Companies with a financial year end of 31 December 2016 should ensure that sufficient time is allowed between the AGM and the preparation and e-filing of the annual return.
The period between a missed annual return and the commencement of involuntary strike off proceedings against out-of-date companies will be reduced. This means that the current period of over 300 days will, over three months, be reduced to 200 days.