MCA provides relaxation of fees in the filing of company financial statements

The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) issued a notification last week providing relaxation on levy of additional fees in the filing of e-forms of the company. The e-forms for which the MCA provided relaxations are AOC-4, AOC-4 (CFS), AOC-4 XBRL and AOC-4 Non-XBRL. The AOC-4 is the form for filing the financial statements of a company. 

The AOC-4 form needs to be filed by a company every year with the Registrar of Companies. In case the company maintains the consolidated financial statements, the company should file the AOC-4 (CFS) form. All listed companies and companies with a share capital of above Rs.5 crore or turnover of above Rs.100 crore have to file the AOC-4 XBRL form. If a company does not file these annual forms with the Registrar of Companies, it will have to pay the penalty.

The companies need to file the AOC-4 forms within thirty days from the last date of conducting the Annual General Meeting (AGM). A company needs to conduct the AGM within six months of the end of every financial year. Thus, every company needs to hold an AGM within 30th September, and they need to file AOC-4 forms within 31st October every year. 

Due to the country’s COVID-19 situation, the MCA extended the last date of holding AGM by three months. Thus, for the financial year ending on 31st March 2020, the companies could hold AGM within 31st December 2020 and file AOC-4 for this financial year within 31st January 2021.

The MCA received many shareholders’ requests to relax the additional fees for filing the annual financial statements. Thus, the MCA decided that there will be no additional fees charged on the AOC-4 forms and only regular fees will be payable for filing these e-forms. In its notification, the MCA stated that there would be no additional fees for filing the e-forms AOC-4, AOC-4 (CFS), AOC-4 XBRL and AOC-4 Non-XBRL for companies whose financial year ended on 31st March 2020. 

The companies which follow the financial year starting from April 2019 and ending in March 2020 can file their annual financial statements without any additional fee up to 15th February 2021. The MCA notification has thus provided 15 days extra time for the companies to file their AOC-4 forms. MCA provided this relaxation in additional fees keeping in mind the inconvenience caused to the companies while preparing their annual financial statements due to COVID-19 situation.

Any delay in filing the e-forms AOC-4, AOC-4 (CFS), AOC-4 XBRL and AOC-4 Non-XBRL, attracts additional filing fees. Thus, the companies who could not file these forms within 31st January 2021 would have to pay additional fees while filing the delayed forms. The MCA has provided relief in this matter, and the companies can now file these e-forms by paying the regular fees.

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