Friday, September 2, 2016

How to Prepare Annual Return as per Companies Act

Section 159,160,161,162 & Schedule V deals with the Annual Return & related Provisions under Companies Act, 1956. But in Companies Act, 2013 all these Sections are combined together in one Section namely – 92.

Annual return is a yearly statement, required to be filed by every company irrespective of their nature, i.e. private, public, listed, unlisted, or status, i.e. active, dormant or under amalgamation. It is perhaps the most important document required to be filed by every company with the Registrar of Companies. Apart from the Financial Statements, this is the only document to be compulsorily filed with the Registrar every year irrespective of any events / happenings in the company.

Section 92 of the Companies Act, 2013 requires every company to prepare an annual return, a comprehensive document which contains information of a company relating to its share capital, indebtedness, directors, shareholders, changes in directorships corporate governance disclosures etc.

The Companies Act, 2013, a historic legislation which intends to improve corporate governance and empower shareholders. The Act has incorporated a framework which is based on self-regulation but with enhanced disclosures and accountability on the part of companies and their managements.

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs vide General Circular 8/2014 dated 04.04.2014 clarified that annual return in terms of section 92 of the Companies Act, 2013 will be in form MGT 7 and will be applicable for financial years commencing on or after 1st April, 2014

TIME PERIOD:

Earlier in the Companies act, 1956 Annual return was prepared for the period from the date of last AGM to date of current AGM. But there is a major change under Companies Act, 2013 i.e. now Companies are required to prepare Annual Return for the financial year i.e. 1st April to 31st March.

ANNUAL RETURN OF FOREIGN COMPANY:

As per section 384(2), the provisions of section 92 shall also apply to a foreign company, subject to such exceptions, modifications and adaptations as may be made therein by rules. Rule 7 of the Companies (Registration of Foreign Companies) Rules, 2014 provides that every foreign company shall prepare and file, within a period of sixty days from the last day of its financial year, to the Registrar annual return in Form FC.4 along with fee, containing the particulars as they stood on the close of the financial year

EXTRACT OF ANNUAL RETURN:

As per sub-section (3) of section 92, the companies are also required to prepare extract of Annual Return in Form No. MGT-9 which shall form part of Board’s Report.

PENALTY:

If a company fails to file its annual return under section 92, before the expiry of the period specified under section 403 with additional fee, the company shall be punishable with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lacs rupees and every officer of the company who is in default shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months or with fine which shall not be less than fifty thousand rupees but which may extend to five lacs Rupees, or with both.(Section 92).

FILING OF ANNUAL RETURN WITH THE REGISTRAR (SECTION 92(4))

The return has to be filed with the Registrar of Companies within 60 days from the date of Annual General Meeting. If the Annual General Meeting is not held in any year, the return has to be filed within 60 days from the date on which Annual General Meeting should have been held together with the statement specifying the reasons for not holding the Annual General Meeting, on payment of such fee or additional fee as prescribed (Rule 12 of the Companies (Registration Offices and Fees) Rules, 2014.


Let’s Start Detailed discussion on Annual return Preparation of Annual Return:

MCA by Companies (Management and Administration) Amendment Rules, 2015 dated: 28th August, 2015 came out with the Final format of Annual Return (MGT-7).

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