How to Change Your Annual Return Date (ARD)

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| Sharon Larkin

The first Annual Return Date (ARD) for your company is determined by your date of incorporation. A company cannot choose its date of incorporation and this is dependent on the date the CRO receive your completed A1 and how long afterwards it takes for them to complete the incorporation. Your company’s annual return date is then automatically set as 6 months after your date of incorporation and annually thereafter.

Why would I change my ARD?

If your company’s incorporation date is mid-month this may not be convenient for accounting purposes, after incorporation you can choose your company year-end, this can be anywhere from the date of incorporation to 18 months in length and your ARD will also be a mid-month date.

18 months being the date that your second annual return (the first B1 with accounts) is due. Practically speaking this does not give enough time for the company to have its accounts prepared and ready for submission in 56 days.

You may also wish to align your company’s ARD with other statutory filing requirements such as your Corporation Tax Return.

How do I change my ARD?

Under the Companies Act 2014, the criteria that have to be met in order to change your ARD are as follows:

  • A company may extend its ARD by up to six months by filing a Form B1B73 electronically with the CRO,
  • The Form B1B73 is one submission and can be filed on CORE or through your company secretarial software package,
  • The Form B1B73 may only be filed once every five years,
  • The Form B1B73 can only be accepted where it is filed on time and in line with the ARD. Therefore it must be submitted within 56 days of the current ARD or the return made up to date if submitted early. A B1B73 cannot be accepted when the 56 days from the ARD have passed, and such the Form B1B73 is ineffective and cannot be accepted by the CRO if it is filed more than 56 days after the company's existing ARD,
  • The change in ARD arising from filing a Form B1B73 should not result in there being more than nine months between the end of the previous financial year and the ARD, and
  • Form B1B73 cannot be filed with the company’s first annual return after incorporation (the six-month return) as this would only shorten the time available to file the first full annual return with Financial Statements.

After filing a form B1B73 with the CRO, the company should check that it has been registered and the ARD has moved on. Otherwise, the company could miss its filing deadline resulting in late filing penalties and loss of audit exemption.

What do you have to file with the return?

Financial Statements or other documents are not required to be annexed to this return.

How to file a B1B73?

  • The Prescribed form for the change of ARD is a B1B73.
  • This must be delivered to the CRO by electronic means; CORE or through an approved software package.
  • The return should be submitted in full to CRO within 56 days of Companies ARD
  • PPSN/IPN of the directors to be submitted 
  • This should be verified with the DSP before submitting the return if there is any doubt over the directors registered name, PPSNor date of birth to avoid the return being rejected on this basis
  • Please find our blog post on PPSN for Directors here for further information 
  • No other documents are required to be annexed to the return.
  • The form must be signed by 2 company officers, 1 Director and 1 Secretary (cannot be the same person).
  • The CRO cannot accept digitally signed documents and this must be “wet” signed and scanned as a PDF for upload.
  • There is the option for an EFA to sign on behalf of the company
  • The standard filing fee is €20.00 paid by CORE account or via Credit/Debit Card.

What can we do now to ensure that our filing is made on time and accurately?

As the B1B73 is filed in place of the B1 not filing or filing late is subject to the same consequences as not filing your B1. In order to avoid any delays you should consider the following:

Directors should confirm their information with the DSP, and communicate with their accountants or filing agents if there is any difference with their name, PPSN or date of birth and consider filing a B10 before the annual return date if necessary.

Directors and company officers should also make their accountants and filing agents aware of any changes in the company structure since the last annual return as some changes such as share transfers are not recorded in the CRO until the B1 is filed.

Directors should apply for their IPN with the CRO if they do not have a PPSN.

Company Secretaries and officers should consider if the company is required to hold a Directors Meeting before the ARD to approve the change of Annual Return Date. They should also consider whether there is a requirement to hold an Annual General Meeting of the company.

Examples of situations where a B1B73 would be beneficial:

Example 1:

Date of Incorporation: 01/01/2022

1st ARD B1 Due: 01/06/2022

2nd ARD B1 Due: 01/06/2023

Companies financial Year end: 31/12/2022

The optimum ARD for this company is 9 months post financial year end 30/09/2023 (Max allowed date). The company can choose to file a B1B73 on the 01/06/2023 or within 56 days of this date to extend the ARD to 30/09/2023.

After the B1B73 is filed:

3rd ARD B1 Due: 30/09/2023 (Financial Statements will be uploaded with this return)

Example 2:

Date of Incorporation: 15/06/2009

Current ARD: 15/12/2023

Financial Year end: 30/09/2023

The optimum ARD for this company is 9 months post financial year end 30/06/2024 (Max allowed date). However, as the maximum period that an ARD can be moved on a B1B73 from is 6 months the company the 30/06 would not be permitted. They can choose to file a B1B73 on the 15/12/2023 or within 56 days of this date to extend the ARD to 15/06/2024 (Max period allowed).

After the B1B73 is filed:

ARD B1 Due: 15/06/2023 (Financial Statements will be uploaded with this return) 

If you would like to discuss any of the above with a member of our team please contact a member of staff at 0539100000.

The contents of this article are meant as a guide only and are not a substitute for professional advice. The author/s accept no responsibility for any action taken, or refrained from, as a result of the material contained in this document. Specific advice should be obtained before acting or refraining from acting, in connection with the matters dealt with in this article. The information at the time of publishing was accurate and could be subject to final changes.

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About the Author

Sharon Larkin, MIATI. Sharon is a member of the OmniPro Corporate Consultants Technical Support team providing advice and support in relation to Company Law and Company Secretarial procedures. She has a wealth of experience having previously worked in practice for 6 years as a Company Secretarial Assistant and maintaining annual compliance for a large portfolio of corporate clients. Sharon joined OmniPro in 2022 and has become a vital member of our Company Secretarial team. Sharon is also member of Accounting Technician of Ireland having qualified in 2019.

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