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What is an Annual Return

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An annual return is an electronic submission that is made to the national public accountants and business entities regulator. This national board is mandated to oversee the regulation of companies and it has the power to issue court summonses and impose composition fines to companies on adhering to this requirement that has been set under the companies act.

Different companies submit their annual returns at different dates of the year. Submission of this report is contingent and depending on the time it holds its end of year general meeting referred to as Annual General Meeting. This is actually a statutory requirement as it is set right under the Companies Act, so, it needs not to be left out at all costs. There is no company exempted from this requirement unless otherwise, it’s a newly incorporated company that is normally allowed a grace period of up to 18 months from the date of incorporation to hold its startup or first annual general meeting.

List of information needed on an annual return

For an annual return to be complete there is a number of things that need to be included in it. Below is information that is normally captured in the application form;

  • The name of the company
  • The registration number of the company
  • Company secretary details in case you have one
  • The company’s registered address
  • Type of company being run either public or private
  • The principal or main business activities conducted by the company
  • The details of the director of the company
  • The particular date the returns are made
  • Details of the shareholders
  • All details entailing issued share capital
  • Details showing whether or not that particular company has operated or traded during the past year.

Timeline for a company to file an annual return

For companies that end their financial year before 31 August, they need to file returns within the 30 days after holding their annual meeting. For circumstances like as other companies having a share capital and maybe keeping all their branch record outside the nation, these returns should be filed within 60 days after holding their annual general meeting. This is not the same case however with companies or organizations whose financial year ends on or after this particular date. For such companies, they need to file their annual returns in a period that is within five months, this for the case to listed companies; non-listed companies can do this within seven months period after the end of every financial year.

Applying for an extension in submitting annual returns

Extensions to apply for the annual returns are normally applicable only to organizations or companies whose financial year normally ends on or after the set dates 31st August. Companies to apply this can do it in a time of 60 days to file their returns. The extension processing period is up to 14 working days. It is advisable that you make the application quite early before the deadline reaches. There are charges incurred in making this application, normally a cost of $200. This fee should be made upon applying for it to be complete.

What happens when you file an overdue?

In case a particular company has ignored or under unavoidable circumstances not filed this company act requirement for a period of more than maybe a single financial year, the company is required to file an overdue return for the same before proceeding to file returns for the latest year of operation.

As we have seen, there is no company exempted from filing these returns, and it should be made on time as possible. Companies filing returns on late dates are should pay a fee of up to $ 300 for the same. The basic and relevant composition of holding late general meetings is also lead to face these fines at the time they file their returns. There are consequences of failure to file returns, a company failing to act upon this company act requirements can be prosecuted in a court of law, and directors of these companies can be disqualified for failing to file the annual returns and also striking off the companies that failed to make file returns.

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