Companies Office income falls as firms file on time

Income at the Companies Office has fallen as more companies avoided fines by filing on time.

The number of companies involuntarily struck off by the Companies Registration Office last year more than halved to 3,072.

The CRO’s income last year fell by 5% to €17.7m mainly because more companies filing their annual returns on time led to fewer late-filing penalty fees for the office.

Its annual report discloses the CRO temporarily suspended enforcement measures ahead of the adoption of the new Companies Act.

There was a sharp decrease in companies being prosecuted for failing to file annual returns in 2015.

With 18 companies convicted, income from such fines fell to €22,800 from €40,750 a year earlier.

The report confirms that 19,404 new companies were registered last year, a 9% increase on 2014. That is the largest number of new registrations since 1998.

The total number of companies on its register topped 201,900 at the end of December.

In another sign of improving economic conditions, the number of liquidations last year fell to 1,850 from 2,008.

The number of firms seeking the court appointment of an examiner fell to 25 from 31 in the year.

According to the annual report, the CRO last year generated 46% of its income, or €8.23m, from late-filing penalties.

The amount received through the penalties was down 15% from the €9.679m generated in 2014.

The CRO last year spent €7.24m.

This amount represented a 7.3% increase on 2014, mainly as a result of the costs to the office of implementing the Companies Act.


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