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Not filing your annual financial returns? Expect a visit from a CIPC inspector

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The Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) is planning to knock on the doors of public companies that do not file their annual returns as required under the Companies Act.

The CIPC has appointed inspectors to conduct site visits and engage public companies across the country as part of a new enforcement drive.

In a statement issued this week, the CIPC says a number of public companies are continuously failing to file their annual returns, let alone timeously. “CIPC is embarking on a compliance drive to visit public companies that failed to file annual returns. The Commissioner appointed Inspectors in terms of the Companies Act to conduct site visits and engage public companies across the country. In terms of Section 30 of the Companies Act, the public companies are required to prepare annual financial statements and have them audited. Furthermore, the Companies Regulation 30(2), requires the same public companies to file a copy of the latest approved audited annual financial statements with CIPC on the date that it files its annual returns.”

Section 186 (1) (d) of the Companies Act imposes a responsibility on the CIPC to “promote compliance with the Act”.

“CIPC has observed that Public Companies do not file their annual returns nor their annual financial statements as required by Section 33 of the Companies Act.”

The aim of the compliance drive is to ensure that:

  • Registered public companies file their Annual returns;
  • File annual financial statements via XBRL;
  • To create awareness and education around the filing of the annual returns by public companies;
  • To understand the challenges of why these public companies are not filing annual returns timeously;
  • To increase the level of annual returns compliance of the public companies: and
  • Collect data to develop a comprehensive compliance profile of public companies.