The Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office (CAIPO) has advised local companies which defaulted in filing their annual companies’ returns by the January 31, 2018, deadline, that they now have an opportunity to benefit from a waiver.
This is because the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs has granted approval for a waiver of penalties imposed under Section 15A (2) of the Act in respect of all local companies/entities with effect from February 19, 2018.
Meanwhile, external companies also stand to benefit from this waiver of penalties imposed under Section 343 (2A) from the late filing of annual returns with effect from the same February deadline.
However, the waiver is subject to several conditions. A company that has benefited from the waiver during the period will not be eligible for consideration again, and the outstanding annual returns should be filed with the Registrar of Companies, CAIPO, no later than April 30, 2018. Failing this, the penalties waived will become payable forthwith to the Registrar of Companies.
In addition, after April 30, 2018, there will be strict adherence to the enforcement of the penalty by the Registrar of Companies on all entities and companies that fail to complete these filings.
The CAIPO has also advised external and domestic companies that all annual returns filed between February 19 and April 30, 2018, will not attract late penalties for the period January 1, 2016, to January 31, 2018; and that the late penalty of $10.00 per day is payable for the period February 1, 2018, until the date of filing of the annual returns.
Businesses are also reminded that the Registrar of Companies has no authority to grant any refunds, and any request for refunds must be made to the Minister of Finance under the Duties, Taxes and Other Payments (Exemption) Act, Cap.67B.
According to Section 15A of the Companies Act, Cap.308, all companies except external companies are required to file, with the Registrar of CAIPO, an annual return in the manner and form prescribed by January 31, in every year.
Equally, under Section 343 (1) all external companies are required to send to the Registrar an annual return, in the prescribed form, not later than April 1, in each year after the date of registration.
CAIPO further advises that in each case, any company which fails to comply with these requirements is liable to a penalty of $10.00 payable to the Registrar for every day during which the default continues.