Extend Time to File a Late Annual Return

District Court Application to Extend Time to File a Late Annual Return

The Companies Act 2014 has introduced a new mechanism for companies that have missed the filing deadline for filing the annual return and financial statements on time. This will eliminate the need to pay late filing fees and more importantly for most companies, retain the audit exemption.

The company may make an application to their local District Court (or High Court) seeking an order extending the time for filing the annual return and the financial statements. If granted by the Court, the company must file the order with the CRO within 28 days and then file the annual return and the financial statements (audit exempt if applicable) with the CRO within the extended time granted by the Court. Only one application can be made per order. This procedure does not change the Annual Return Date, it only extends the time in which the company has to file the outstanding annual returns.   

CLS Chartered Secretaries and OSM Partners have developed a service to assist companies to make the application to the District Court. We can give you a definitive time frame and fixed cost to making the application.

CRO Rules and Objection

Please note the CRO will object to the District Court Application for the following reasons:

  • Company is dissolved
  • Annual return is due to be filed pre 1st June 2015 and is applying to the district court
  • Failure to explain why it was not possible to file on time
  • The documentation was lost or delayed in the post and there was no proof it was sent

Legal Representation

The company cannot represent itself so it must seek the services of a solicitor or barrister to make the application to the Court.

Location of the Application

The company must make the application at the District Court where the registered office is situated. We will arrange for the registered office address to be changed to Dublin so that all applications can be made in the Dublin District Court. This will allow OSM Partners to make the application before a Court which is familiar with this new procedure. This familiarity will facilitate the timely hearing of the application and issuing  of the Order. The registered office address will then be immediately changed back to its original address.


A company will have to weigh up the cost of paying the late filing penalties in addition to the cost of an audit to be carried out for the current financial statements and the next financial year against the cost of making the application to the District Court.

For group companies that now can avail of audit exemption, the district court application will be the cheaper option.

Struck Off Company

CRO have confirmed that the district court application cannot be used for companies that have been struck off the register. Companies that are strike off listed can still make the application but must act quickly. 


  • No loss of audit exemption or audit for 2 years

  • No late filing penalties

  • Certainty that our legal team that will make a swift application ensuring that the order is issued as soon as possible

  • Fixed fee for the application


  • Cost of making the application

  • Change of registered office address on a temporary basis.

  • Reason for not filing on time – Verifiable evidence required to support explanation why Annual Returns & Financial Statements were not filed on time. Examples of verifiable evidence include a medical letter from your doctor, letter from your accountant on headed paper, proof of postage, confirmation that your internet connection was down when attempting to file online

Extend Time to File a Late Annual Return - District Court Application Process, Whats Involved?

What is the process?

The CRO have issued an information leaflet on the process (Information Leaflet 39).

In summary, the process is as follows:-

  • Make an application for a court date
  • Serve copy of notice and affidavit on CRO putting CRO on notice of the application at least 21 days before the Court date
  • File affidavit and declaration of service and CRO's Letter of Acknowledgement witht the District Court four days before the court date
  • When order is granted showing the new filing date the order should be filed at the CRO usually within 28 days of the Court date
  • The company must deliver the annual return to the CRO, or submit it electronically, on or before the new extended date provided by the Court. If the company files the return electronically on or before the new extended date, it has 28 days from the date of submission to deliver the signature page and financial statements to the CRO.





In order for your application to be processed All Of The Following must be provided  before we can begin:


  • Fully Completed Application form
  • All Outstanding Annual Returns
  • All Outstandng Finacnual Statements
  • Notice of strike off (if applicable)
  • Any medical records/evidence of reasons for failing to file


N.B We cannot process the application or draft the affidavits until All the Above have been forwarded to us.


How to File Your Annual Return

If you have any companies that require assistance in applying to the District Court, please contact Conor or Amy .

We would be delighted to assist with making the application. 

You can also call us on 059 91 86776 or E-mail info@clscs.ie