The Companies and Intellectual Properties Commission has clarified the time periods required for the submission of annual returns and Annual Financial Statements (AFS).
The CIPC in Guidance Note 2 of 2019 says it has identified that the majority of public companies are filing annual returns and annual financial statements outside of the prescribed 30 business day period which is outlined in the Companies Regulations 2011.
The main reason for the late filing is confusion over the finalisation of the annual financial statements requirement.
The guidance note says that although different time periods are prescribed for the filing of annual returns and the finalization of AFS, the regulations clearly state that the company’s latest approved (or previous year’s) AFS must be filed when filing the annual return.
Example: Company XUZ Ltd has a financial year end of February but its registration date is 25 June. When filing is 2020 annual return during the 30 business day period starting 26 June 2020, it must use it approved AFS of February 2019.
The reason for such provision is that companies have six months after his financial year and to complete its AFS. In this example, the approved AFS will only be completed and available by end August which is past the 30 business day period to file annual returns.
“Therefore, all companies and close corporations do not have to wait for the finalization of its AFS or file interim AFS, when submitting its annual returns. The regulations clearly state that the latest, meaning the previous financial year’s AFS, must be used if the current financial year and is not yet finalised,” says the CIPC notice.