COVID 19 Effect : ACRA Extends AGMs and Annual Returns Filing Deadlines

The fight against one common enemy, the Coronavirus, is what the world is focused on right now. All across the globe, governmental agencies, businesses, and individuals are compelled to take the most arduous decisions and measures for the survival and greater good of mankind.

On April 7th, Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Ministry, together with the Ministry of Law, the Ministry of Finance, and SGX RegCo, issued  joint guidance for business entities in Singapore and addressed the challenges that the companies must be facing for holding AGMs and filing Annual Returns during this pandemic.

We list down the key takeaways from their statement and how it is a welcoming move for businesses in difficult times like these:-

1.  Extension of AGMs Holding Timeline

ACRA has appropriated a 60-day extension period for companies, listed and non-listed, that were to hold AGMs during the period of 16 April, 2020 to 31 July, 2020.

Even the companies that had previously requested and had been granted a time extension to hold their AGMs within this period have also been allowed a further extension of 60 days from the last date of allocated extension.

2.   Extension of Filing ARs Deadline

ACRA announced that the due dates for AR filing set for the period from May 1, 2020, to August 31, 2020, for all companies, listed and non-listed, have also been extended for 60 days. Therefore, no company needs to individually apply to ACRA for granting an extension period for filing ARs.

3.  No Penalties for Delay in Holding AGMs and ARs Filing

ACRA assured that it shall not impose any penalties on companies, listed and non-listed, whose AGMs fall during April 1, 2020, to April 15, 2020, with the condition that they hold the AGM within 60 days of the extended due date. The same applies for the AR filing, the timeline for which has also been extended for 60 days from the original due date.

Additionally, the authority also noted that the AGMs for companies with due dates beyond July 2020, ACRA shall consider extension time sometime in the near future.

4.   New Update on Holding AGMs in Compliance with Safe Distancing Measures

Previously on 19th March, 2020, SGX RegCo had issued a guiding notice to defer AGMs to after April 30, 2020. However, the updated issuance announced on March 31, 2020, superseded this issue and allowed companies to hold AGMs and GMs, with strict compliances to safe distancing measures and suggested measures to ensure the same.

  • Companies must provide the opportunity to shareholders for raising questions via “live” webcast
  • Companies may broadcast meetings via “live” webcast
  • Companies may allow the option for proxy voting.

ACRA also noted that while the service counters at Revenue House shall remain open with limited public access from April 7 to May 4, 2020, customers will need to take a prior appointment for the visit.

We, at DataTracks, also encourage you to stay home to prevent the COVID 19 spread. For assistance on matters pertaining to the filing of ARs, etc., we strongly recommend you to reach out for help. Our team is working remotely and is dedicated to offering you complete support. Write to us today at enquiry@datatracks.com.sg.