01 October 2016

Companies not filing their annual reports to face fines from October 3

jemima-owareBusinesses that have failed to renew their registration at the Registrar General’s Department in their last financial year or more have just until October 3, to do so or risk paying a fine of GHC300 daily after the deadline.

This involves the filing of Annual Reports or Returns which by law, registered companies are required to do within three months after their financial year and for newly-registered firms, one and half years after incorporation at a fee of GhC50.

This penalty regime is one of two major provisions of the Companies Act the Registrar General has decided to enforce from October 2016. Section 122 (1 & 2) of the Companies Act, 1963, (Act179), states “that a Company shall file its Annual Returns eighteen (18) months after Incorporation and once, at least in every year thereafter”.

In an exclusive interview with Joy Business Editor, Emmanuel Agyei, the Acting Registrar General, Jemima Oware, however, explained that this provision has over the years not been complied with – thus necessitating the directive.

“In the past, the company inspectors would write to you to remind you to file your annual return and once in a while, when we issue these notices you will see people in long queues rushing to come and file their returns. But this time around, we have to just go by the law.

And it hurts me because the law is quite punitive” she noted.

Per the Act, any business that fails to duly file its Annual Reports is liable to a fine not exceeding 25 penalty units for every day during which the default continues.

“With one penalty unit equivalent to 12 Ghana cedis, 25 penalty units would thus amount to Gh¢300 for each day that the default continues after October, 3.

The fine is to be paid in addition to the 50 Ghana cedis mandatory fees charged in the filing of Annual Returns” Businesses must note that the update of records is free apart from the fees to be paid for renewing the Businesses or filing of Annual Returns for the number of years in default.

All payments should be done at the Department’s on-site Bank, Fidelity Bank Limited and not to any individual” she concluded.

The penalty payment is to continue until December 31, 2016 when the Department would start the process of striking out the names of Businesses that have failed to comply with the directive in line with the law.

The Registrar General is, therefore, impressing on companies the need to as soon as possible update their records in the new electronic database and renew their Businesses or file of Annual Returns for the number of years in default.


Source: Myjoyonline.com

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