Other regulator updates - ROI

Jul 24, 2020

This page was last updated on 30 October 2020

Chartered Accountants Ireland has been engaging with the Companies Registration Office, the Central Bank and other key government agencies and stakeholders regarding the impact of COVID-19. The most up to date information available is as follows:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) - The current crisis has resulted in new risks with regard to AML and it’s important to ensure that entities comply with their AML obligations. Our colleagues in Professional Standards have collated AML guidance from a variety of sources which may be beneficial. It is also advisable to keep up to date with any new announcements from the Dept. of Justice, Equality and Law Reform here.
  • Central Bank of Ireland (CBI) – The Central Bank of Ireland has published its fourth and final Quarterly Bulletin of 2020, which focuses on the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and the potential impact of a disruptive Brexit and provides a comprehensive analysis. They previously, in a 'Dear CEO' letter sent to participating regulated firms, the CBI set out its expectations in respect of extending payment breaks from three to six months, and to the management of the end of the payment break term. They have also created a COVID-19 hub which contains information and guidance for consumers, businesses and regulated firms.
  • Companies Registration Office (CRO) – The CRO has announced that all elements of the annual return will be accepted if delivered by the date on the signature page (available when Form B1 is submitted online). The Institute sought clarification from the CRO on this statement and they confirmed the following: ‘’If the company is due to file, or has already filed a B1 but not yet sent the signature page, they can file a new B1 up to 31/10/2020 and will then have 28 days from submission date to upload financial statements and deliver the signed signature page. If the B1 has recently been submitted and the date on the signature page is after 31/10/2020 then that date is the correct deadline’’. Therefore, if a B1 is filed electronically on Friday 30 October 2020, the submission date for the signed B1 will be 28 days later, i.e. 27 November 2020. If all elements of the annual return are submitted by that date then it will be deemed to have been filed on time. Members are of course encouraged to file as normal if at all possible. If you are unsure about your annual return deadline or have any other queries please contact eb1@dbei.gov.ie. Please see the CRO twitter for all the latest updates.
  • The Registrar of Friendly Societies has also previously been further extended to an updated annual return date of 31 December 2020.
  • Central Statistics Office (CSO)– The COVID-19 Information Hub on the CSO website contains a variety of survey results and statistics which members may find interesting.
  • Charities Regulator – The Charities Regulator recently announced that the annual reporting deadline for charities has been extended to 16 December 2020. Therefore, all annual reports which were due to be filed with the Charities Regulator on any date from 12 March 2020 to 15 December 2020 inclusive, may now be prepared and submitted to the Charities Regulator at any time up to 16 December 2020. They have issued Annual Reporting FAQs specifically to assist entities in filing their Annual Reports and a further list of FAQs which may answer some of the concerns being raised by charities due to covid-19 and these are continually being updated.
  • Courts Service – The Courts Service have resumed business in all courts and they have recently issued an update in relating to the operating of courts in light of the level 5 restrictions. Their main priority is to keep staff and court users safe and to keep the courts open. All statements relating to operating courts during covid-19 can be found here.
  • Data Protection Commissioner (DPC) – The DPC have issued guidance on ‘’Processing Customer Data for COVID-19 Contact Tracing’’. This is designed to assist certain businesses who take contact details from customers and retain them for one month in the event that they are required for contact tracing by the health authorities. They previously issued tips for avoiding data breaches. They previously published a guidance note on cookies and other tracking technologies and also issued tips for video-conferences, tips for staying safe online and a note with some guidance for data subject access requests during the COVID-19 crisis. Previously they issued a note which serves as a reminder on data protection obligations when processing personal data relating to COVID-19. They have also published tips to keep personal data safe when working remotely which are included here.
  • Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation – The commencement order for the Companies (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Covid-19) Act 2020 has been published and is available here. It commenced in full from 21 August 2020. Some of the provisions of the Act includes an extension of time for the holding of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (with the exception of regulated entities), proposed amendments to specifically provide that companies can have virtual general meetings to include cancellation and rescheduling of meetings, provide for a variation or withdrawal of dividend resolutions, and permitting the execution of documents under seal by the use of counterparts. It also contains similar general meeting provisions for Industrial and Provident Societies. The majority of the amendments would only remain operative until 31 December 2020 unless there is an extension. A list of the government covid-19 supports for businesses is available here.
  • Law Society of Ireland (Law Society) – The Law Society appreciates that there will be solicitors who are in difficulty in relation to the filing of their annual and closing reports. Any such solicitors are asked to contact the Society with their proposals for the filing of the report and each will be looked at on a case by case basis. To facilitate the filing of annual and closing reports, the Society is willing to accept unsigned reports by email to financialregulation@lawsociety.ie, provided that they are accompanied by an undertaking from the reporting accountant to submit the signed report as soon as practicable. All proposals put forward, either by solicitors or their reporting accountants, are being considered, with the emphasis on getting as many annual and closing reports filed as possible. It is also worth noting that there has been no change in the law in relation to the requirements for execution, stamping and registration of deeds. The requirements for registration of deeds in the PRA means that wet signatures on deeds are still required.
  • Pensions Authority – The Pensions Authority has issued a further update on regulatory matters and with employer contributions. It previously issued some guidelines and advice on how to deal with the most immediate issues facing trustees and service providers and also some advice regarding investments and pension scheme contributions.  
  • Property Services Regulatory Authority (PSRA) – The PSRA, in conjunction with the IPAV and the SCSI and their staff, have developed Property Services Providers guidance  to implementing a Plan for Living with Covid 19. They previously, also in conjunction with the IPAV and the Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland issued a Joint Sector Protocol for property service providers. The PSRA has issued a notice regarding the implementation of a four month extension to the expiry dates of Licensees, with an expiry date between 7 May 2020 and 31 August 2020.Their previous update provided information regarding the filing of accountants reports.