Late Annual Returns Filing Prosecution
Are you struggling to finalise your annual returns and there is a high possibility of filing them late? What would cause your company to be slapped with late annual returns filing prosecution? Singapore registered companies are, under the Companies Act, Cap. 50, required to comply with the various statutory obligations such as the holding of AGMs and submission of Annual Returns. Compliance is a way to ensure that interests of relevant stakeholders are protected within a trusted regulatory environment. Companies which submit late Annual Returns are first subjected to lodgement penalties. Besides paying penalties, the Director of the company is also required to attend a Director’s Compliance Programme. Upon completion of this programme, ACRA will generally grant the company another 60 days’ grace period from a stated date to rectify the breach and file the Annual Returns. If a company, despite reminders and education, continues to file their Annual Returns late, then as a last resort, ACRA will consider prosecuting the company and its officer for non-compliance. Part of the prosecution process will have ACRA first applying to court for summons to be issued against the company and its officer (“defendant”). The defendant will thereafter receive a summons via registered mail, containing the name of the defendant, the offence, the date and time of the court hearing. A director, found guilty of 3 or more offences under the Act within 5 years, is disqualified from acting as director, or be involved in the management of any company.