Accounting Reference Date – ARD

The ARD is the annual date for the company to file its Annual Return. New companies incorporated in Ireland have an ARD of six months from their date of incorporation. A company’s second and subsequent Annual Return Date is 12 months from its previous year’s ARD, unless the company has altered that ARD. The requirement to attach accounts to an annual return, which accounts predate the date to which the return has been made up by no more than nine months, may result in a company electing to alter its ARD.

Accounts are not required with the first annual returns. With your second and subsequent annual returns accounts must be annexed.

ARD Filing Deadline

The annual return must be filed with the Companies Registration Office within 28 days of the date to which it has been made up. Where accounts are required to be attached to the annual return the filing deadline is either:

  • The company’s ARD plus 28 days
  • The company’s financial year-end plus nine months and 28 days

Important Penalty Notices

Failure to file your Annual Return within 28 days of the due date will result in a penalty of €100 and an additional €3 per day for every day late to a maximum of €1,200 per annual return. You will also be required to have the attached accounts audited. Continued failure to file may result in your company being struck off the register.

Extending the ARD

If a company requires extra time to file its annual return, or wishes to extend its current annual return date (ARD), it can do so by filing a B73 form. This form may be filed by a company, not more than once every five years and can extend the company’s ARD by up to six months. As a matter of Irish law, a Form B73 is ineffective and cannot be accepted by the CRO if it is filed more than 28 days after the company’s existing ARD.

Extending the ARD – by High Court Order

If a company has already used a Form B73 within the last five years, or a B73 is not appropriate in the circumstances, and it requires extra time to file its annual return, applications can be made to the High Court, on notice to the CRO. If granted, this allows the company extra time to file that return before the late filing penalty is incurred or audit exemption is lost.