If you own a company that is registered with the Investment Promotion Authority you have been given an ultimatum to update your annual returns or the company faces deregistration. As an incentive for all relevant companies to get their returns to date, the IPA has waived penalty fees for late lodgements if the returns are done before 30 June 2017.
If you’re not sure whether this notice applies to your company, it’s worth checking the list of companies by following this link.
The IPA is conducting a compliance exercise and as part of this exercise, companies who do not update their annual returns will automatically be deregistered by the end of 2017.
The IPA is using the Automated Compliance Program where non complying companies will be automatically removed from the register. This means that companies will have little to no chance of maintaining the company if it does not update its returns by the issued deadline.
According to the IPA website, the ACP allows the system to monitor companies’ compliance issues and automatically notifies them whenever they are due to file their Annual Returns with the Office of the Registrar of Companies.
Non complying companies who do not comply with given notifications will result in being automatically de-registered.
The program is currently in its preparatory stages and before the Registrar switches on the ACP, the IPA advises that it is crucial that genuinely operating companies are not de-registered. The IPA adds that the effective way the Registrar can tell whether a company is operating or not otherwise is to ensure whether or not that company is up to date with filing of annual returns.
Due to the importance of the exercise, the office has advised that it will be waiving the usual penalty fees of K1, 000 for any annual return which is filed online by 30 June 2017. The waiver of the late penalty fee will cease on 1 July 2017. This is an incentive for companies to comply before the actual deregistration exercise begins.
So, if you’re behind in your annual returns now is the time to update your filings to avoid deregistration.
It’s possible to “re-register” a company if it has been deregistered but the process involved including the time and cost can be an expensive exercise.
Is your company in compliance? Check the list here.