The Registrar General’s Department (RGD) has now set July 31st, 2020 as the final deadline for filing of annual returns for all companies whose financial year ended by December 31st, 2019.
In April this year, the Department extended the original submission date which was scheduled for April 30th to June 30th 2020 to enable companies have ample time to file their returns due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
According to the RGD, this another extension has even become more imperative as a result of the continuous impact of the Coronavirus pandemic that has prevented most companies from holding their Annual General Meetings (AGM).
In fact, the RGD has set four guidelines and procedures to companies to adhere to in holding their respective virtual AGMs. Key among the guidelines is that the Registrar General should be notified before such virtual meetings are held.
The companies given grace period include Companies Limited by Shares, Companies Limited by Guarantee, External Companies as well as those seeking to renew their partnerships.
Instructively, every other Company whose financial year is expected to end before 30th June, 2020 have also been mandated to file their annual returns by 31st December 2020.
This was contained in a statement signed by the RGD’s Head of Public Relations, Constance Adomaa Takyi.
Consequently, the RGD has insisted that companies who in spite of this extension still fail to submit their annual returns within the stated grace period are liable to pay a penalty of GHS450 for non-compliance by August 3rd, 2020.
Section 126 of the Companies Act, 2019, (Act 992) makes it mandatory for companies to file their annual returns once every year which include particulars of every member of the Company as well as its beneficial owners.
Under section 6(1) of the Incorporated Private Partnerships Act, 1962, once every year, “the Partners shall deliver to the Registrar of Partnerships a statement in the prescribed Form renewing the Partnership”.
Furthermore, Sole Proprietorships are required by law to renew their Business Names once every year or shall be deemed to have lapsed whereupon the Registrar may take the Business Name off the Companies Register.
To be in good standing and avoid being taken off from the companies register, Business Names would have to pay for the number of years they have not renewed up to date but are not expected to pay any penalty.