From 1 June, mandatory electronic filing will apply to the following submissions to the Company Registration Office:
- Form B1 - annual return
- Form B2 - change of registered office address
- Form B10 - change of director and/or secretary, or in their particulars
- Form B73 - nomination of a new annual return date.
Electronic filing can be completed through the Companies Online Registration Environment (CORE) or through certain company secretarial software packages.
It will not be possible to file a paper version of the above documents after this date. In the case of the form B1, the associated filing fee will also have to be discharged electronically.
In particular, the requirement to file the Form B1 electronically, and to upload and submit associated PDF financial statements filings online, may prove a challenge to those unfamiliar with the process.
- While moving to an electronic submission, note that the electronically submitted B1 signature page must however be printed off, originally signed, and submitted manually to the CRO, unless the B1 is digitally signed using Revenue Online Service (ROS) signatures by either a director and the company secretary, or an electronic filing agent (EFA)
- The financial statements must be uploaded as a PDF attachment to the form B1 on CORE/software package within 28 days of the date of electronic submission of the form B1
- The B1 signature page must not be delivered to the CRO until after the financial statements have been uploaded as a PDF attachment through CORE/software package. If an EFA electronically signs the B1, it will be necessary for a certification of the financial statements to be prepared, originally signed by a director and the company secretary, and submitted manually to the CRO in respect of the filing in the place of an originally signed B1 signature page
- The financial statements to be uploaded as PDFs may, but are not required to, contain the manuscript signatures of director(s) or auditor. However they must contain: the typed name(s) of the director(s) who signed the financial statements on behalf of the board, the typed name of the auditor who signed the audit report (where applicable), and the date on which each document was signed
It is important that those responsible for making CRO filings on behalf of a company familiarise themselves with the new online process ahead of the 1 June deadline.