Thousands of companies are late every year with the filing of their statutory returns and accounts with the CRO and unfortunately it’s a zero tolerance policy. Even if you’re late by just one day, unfortunately, you’ve lost your audit exemption for two years and from 1st June 2015 the companies registration office will no longer be engaging in correspondence with companies appealing the application of the late filing penalty arising from the late filing of the statutory annual return.

In future, companies who are late with their statutory filings will need to instruct their solicitors to bring an immediate application before the local District Court where the registered office of the company is situate pursuant to Section 343 of the new Companies Act 2014 which will permit the company make an application before a District Court Judge to make an order extending the time for the filing of the annual return. Accordingly, keeping the audit exemption and absolving the company of the late filing penalty.

Companies pay over in excess of €10 million each year in respect of late filing penalties and this should be a much utilised application in the local district court. However, it only applies in respect of annual returns filed after 1st June 2015.