Who needs to file Annual Returns?

Irish Limited Companies must meet the annual return deadline by filing Annual Returns (AKA “Form B1”) to the Companies Registration Office (CRO) once a year. This requirement stands even if you have no profit or haven’t started trading yet.

This guide will address your common questions about the Limited Company Annual Return process, highlight what is needed for the B1 annual return deadline, and advise on the implications of missing your deadline.

If you need support submitting this return, contact our Client Services Team – we are here to help.

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When should the Annual Return be filed?

  • Your first Annual Return is filed 6 months after your company’s incorporation date marking the start of your obligation to adhere to the annual return filing dates
  • All subsequent Annual Returns are filed every 12 months.
  • You can apply for an extension of your Annual Return deadline if necessary. This application must be filed before your current deadline expires, so consult a professional if you need assistance.

A missed Annual Return Deadline will mean your company faces fines of up to €1,200 per year and the loss of your audit exemption. These are large additional costs that can easily be avoided.

But try not to panic if you miss your deadline; talk to the CRO about what you need to do, or talk to our Client Services Team for more information on how we can help.

It’s also worth noting that missing the income tax return deadline can further exacerbate issues, incurring additional fines and penalties.

How to find your Annual Return filing date?

The quickest and easiest way to find your Annual Return date is to check the Companies Registration Office (CRO) website, CORE.

Enter your company name or number into the search bar and view the details of your company.

If you are unsure or you have received a letter from the CRO regarding your Annual Return, feel free to reach out to our Client Services Team for more information on your specific circumstances.

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What do you need to file an Annual Return?


CORE account

Annual Returns are filed online using the official Government website: https://core.cro.ie. You can also outsource your Annual Return requirements to a professional firm, like Kinore.

Form B1

The Form B1 is completed online, generally prepared by the Company Secretary due to certain time constraints. It is signed by one director and the company secretary, then submitted electronically.

Abridged accounts

You or your accountant needs to prepare accounts, sometimes called financial statements, for the correct Annual Return period. Once complete and signed, they are uploaded to CORE.ie.

What is the process for filing an Annual Return?


Prepare the Form B1 in CORE


Upload the financial statements


Upload the signed PDF signature page in CORE


Prepare the Form B1 in CORE


Pay the filing fee (€20)

What is the Form B1?

The Form B1 is the first thing that is completed during the Annual Return process. It outlines the company’s information, such as the names of directors, company secretary, shareholders, and share capital.

If there have been any changes in the company over the year, for example, new directors were added or you changed address, it’s important that the CRO was informed of these changes before the Annual Return is due. The information you complete in the Form B1 must match what the CRO has in their records.

It is completed online using CORE.ie or you can outsource this duty to a professional, like Kinore, who can ensure that the filing has all the correct and up-to-date information.

What are abridged accounts?

Abridged accounts are condensed versions of full financial statements that need to be filed alongside your B1 Annual Return in Ireland.

Abridged accounts need to be prepared even if your company has no profit or is dormant.

It’s also important to note that a copy of your Irish company’s abridged accounts will be publically available on the CRO website for anyone who wishes to inspect them.

As a business owner, you might consider outsourcing this requirement to an accountant, who can keep track of your Annual Return filing Deadline and ensure that your abridged financial statements are prepared on time.

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What is the B1 signature page?

The B1 signature page is another CRO filing requirement and is generated after the financial statements are uploaded. This document needs to be printed and signed by one director and the Company Secretary and then uploaded to CORE.

It’s important that the signatures are original and completed in wet ink as digital signatures are not allowed.

Once this page has been uploaded and the fees have been paid, your Annual Return is under review by the Companies Registration Office.

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What's included in the first Annual Return?

A company’s first Annual Return in Ireland contains information about the company. This includes details about the Company Directors, Company Secretary, Shareholders, and how many shares they own.

Usually, this is the same information that you set the company up with. But if any changes occurred within the first six months after incorporation, this is the time to tell the CRO.

No abridged accounts/financial statements are required with your first B1 Annual Return. So it can be a quick and easy submission, as long as you remember to do it.

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What happens after the first Annual Return?

Your second Annual Return is due 18 months after the date of incorporation and all future Annual Returns will be every 12 months. The difference with this filing is that there are abridged accounts due alongside the B1 form.

Abridged accounts are a summary of your financial statements – covering profit/loss, assets, income and expenditure.

Although they don’t represent a full set of accounts, they are available to anyone who wishes to view them on the CRO website. This means it is important to get them right.

If you have an Annual Return deadline coming up, get in touch with us. We can take care of the accounts preparation and file your Annual Return.

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Do all companies need to file Annual Returns?

Filing your B1 Annual Return is obligatory for all Irish limited companies, even if your company is not trading yet or is dormant.

Companies without turnover or profit still need to complete this filing, and they face the same consequences if they don’t.

Check out the other compliance requirements for new companies in Ireland.

  • Corporation Tax Returns
  • Income Tax Returns for directors
  • VAT returns (if registered)

If you need help with your company’s compliance and accounting requirements, talk to us now. Our expert team can ensure you meet all filing deadlines and avoid costly penalties.

Helpful advice for filing your Annual Return

Checking your Annual Return

You can check the date your company was incorporated on your Certificate of Incorporation or check the CRO website.
If you’ve missed your Annual Return, talk to the CRO or call our Client Services Team. Don't panic if you're missed your deadline!

Annual Return reminder

The CRO usually sends a reminder 6 weeks before your next Annual Return Date by email. Missing this email could lead to hefty fines and penalties for your company, so it might be a good idea to outsource to a professional who will keep an eye on this deadline for you.

New digital procedure

The CRO has a strict filing procedure around Annual Returns and it's changing from the 16 December 2020. Talk to us about outsourcing your Annual Return so you can have peace of mind that your Annual Return is being taken care of.