The bulk of revenues generated by the Companies Registration Office (CRO) last year came from penalties imposed on companies filing late annual accounts.
According to the CRO’s 2014 annual report, the CRO last year increased the income from late filing penalties by 7% to €11.35m.
The €11.35m received in late filing penalties accounted for 61% of the CRO’s total 2014 revenues of €18.57m and compares to €7m received in submission fees.
Companies who file late accounts face an additional penalty of €100 with a daily penalty of €3 thereafter amounting to a maximum penalty of €1,200 per return.
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The CRO’s income was 4% down on its 2013 income of €19.39m.
According to the annual report “there has been a downward trend in CRO receipts for a number of years as a result of more companies filing their annual returns on time, resulting in companies paying less late filing penalties and more companies filing electronically which allows them to avail of lower filing fees.”
The annual report states that 84% of all annual returns were filed electronically in 2014 and as a result, companies saved €4.94m in filing accounts electronically last year.
The CRO’s 2014 expenditure totalled €6.75m compared to €6.98m in 2013.
The report also records that the number of new companies incorporated last year at just under 18,000 has been the highest number in recent years and represented a 14.6% increase on 2013.
The number of companies on the register in 2014 totalled 192,410.
The report records that the number of liquidations initiated in 2014 increased marginally from 1,976 in 2013 to 2,008 last year.
However this still represents a 10% drop over the 2012 liquidation total of 2,236.
The downward trend in the number of companies where receivers were appointed continued with a fall of 91 from 553 in 2013 to 462 in 2014.
The numbers of court applications for examiners last year totalled 31 compared to 39 in 2013.
The report also records that in 2014, the CRO found that 37 companies filed auditors’ reports signed by 12 individuals or firms who were not listed on the Register of Auditors.
In addition, CRO was notified of 60 companies, involving 23 auditors, where the individual auditor or audit firm whose name was on the auditor’s report, stated that they did not carry out the audit.
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