During this year we have published the various arrangements that the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) has made to cater for its services during the national lockdown amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of these arrangements included extensions to file Annual Returns, compliance checklists, preparation of annual financial statements and the deferring of penalties.
The CIPC has recently published Notice 49 of 2020 which states that with effect from 1 December 2020 all companies and close corporations are required to comply with the provisions of the Companies Act within the prescribed legal timeframes from such date – thus no further extension of legal timeframes will be provided. The Notice confirms that the various arrangements of temporary extensions and relaxation measures granted by the CIPC during the year have lapsed on 1 December 2020 and that it is back to business as usual for the CIPC.
With regard to non-compliance and enforcing penalties, the CIPC acknowledges the impact that COVID-19 will continue to have on companies and close corporations and will therefore consider if any non-compliance can be attributed to the constraints and limitations posed by COVID-19. As from 1 December 2020, the CIPC will enforce penalties for late filings of Annual Returns. Companies and Close Corporations that have not yet filed are encouraged to file timeously to avoid incurring penalties for late filing.