Late filing penalty fees totalling €7.2m accounted for 37% of the Companies Registration Office's (CRO) revenues of €19.27m last year.
According to the CRO’s 2018 annual report, the €7.2m received in late filing fees from 13,451 companies - working out at an average penalty payment of €535 - topped the €7m the CRO received in submission fees for all other documents filed in 2018. However, late filing fees were 29% down on the €10.08m generated in 2016 and 10% down on the €8.23m received under the same heading in 2017.
"There has continued to be a reduction in late filing fees paid," the CRO said.
The CRO's overall revenues for last year rose by 10% on the previous year. The chief factor behind the increase was miscellaneous income soaring from €1.5m to €5m. The CRO said this was made up of enquiries, bulk data sales, credit notes, and customer account balances.
The CRO's expenditure - at €7.1m - remained at the same level as 2017 and was made up of €4.6m in pay and €2.5m in non-pay resulting in a surplus of €12.17m. The figures show that there was at the end of last year, 223,013 companies registered and over half of those companies have registered between 2010 and 2018.
The report shows that there are only 173 companies that were incorporated prior to 1920 still registered at the CRO with only 96 incorporated between 1920 and 1929. The number of new companies registered last year totalled 22,428 - marginally higher than the 2017 figure.
The report also shows that over 350,000 documents were purchased from the CRO in 2018 and the CRO website was visited 2.3 million times. The number of companies to be struck off for failure to file returns totalled 7,619 in 2018.