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Procedure of Filing Annual Return: A Complete Guide

Tanya Verma
| Updated: 07 Nov, 2019

All companies need to file annual return[1] at the end of the financial year with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.  In this article we are going to gain knowledge about the steps involved in the filing of annual return, what are the forms that you need to fill and what are the other requisites regarding filing the same.  

What is Annual Return?

The annual return is the yearly statement containing essential information about an entity’s composition, activities and financial position. Every active company registered with an appropriate authority need to file Annual Return at the end of every fiscal year. As per the provisions of general corporate legislation, it ought to consist of the following;

  1. A particular of shareholders or stockholders, debenture holders, firm’s secretary and the directors.
  2. List of charges against the entity (if any)
  3. Address of the registered office with location of the register of members
  4. Copy of latest financial statements

Who Needs to File Annual Return?

There are three categories of companies that need to comply with the provision of filing an annual return;

  1. Class I: Every company registered under the Companies Act, 2013 or the Companies Act, 1956 is required to file Annual Return in Form MGT 7 within 60 days from the wrapping up of its Annual General Meeting {AGM}. Also, such companies are required to file their Financial Statements in e-Form AOC-4 within 30 days from the conclusion of their AGM.
  2. Class II: Every company whose name has been published for not complying with the Annual Compliance and Filing, in the Strike-off Public Notice No-ROC-DEL/248/STK-5/2018/2912, Dated 18/6/2018. It was sent to 31250 companies.
  3. Class III: All companies whose directors have been disqualified under Section 164(20) for not filing an annual return.

Steps Involved in The Filing of Annual Return

The following steps are involved in the fining of annual return;

Filing of Annual Return

Maintenance of Book of Accounts

It is obligatory for every company to maintain a Book of Accounts. Not only it serves as compliance with the law but also, it helps in keeping track of the inflow/ outflow of finances of the company. As per the Companies Act, 2013, it is mandatory for all companies to maintain a Book of Accounts in a specified format.

Furthermore, the following should be included in it;

  1. Detail of monies received or spent by the company
  2. Assets and liabilities of the company
  3. Sales and purchases of the company
  4. Other financial or business transactions

Preparing a Company’s Financial Statements

A financial statement of a company is prepared based on the Book of Accounts. Financial statement is a statement that contains the information about the financial position, performance and changes in the financial position of an assessee of the company. It comprises of the balance sheet, profit and loss account and other statements/ explanatory notes of the company.   

Conducting Audit of Financial Statements

Every Company needs to appoint its first Auditor within one month of the registration of the company. Furthermore, any individual who is a qualified Chartered Accountant in practice, or an entity of Chartered Accountants may be selected the Auditor of a Company.

The Auditor after being appointed by the Company need to audit the financial statements of the Company and submit his/ her report on the accounts of the Company to the members. The Auditor is also required to state in his report whether the accounts of the Company give an accurate and fair picture of the state of affairs of the Company

Commencing Annual General Meeting

An Annual General Meeting is a congregation of the shareholders of a Company held every year. Furthermore, the Companies Act, 2013 mandates that all companies except One Person Company need to hold Annual General Meeting each year. The date of any Annual General Meeting has to be held within 15 months from the date of commencement of the preceding Annual General Meeting. On the other hand, for a newly incorporated company, the first Annual General Meeting must be held within 18 months from the date of incorporation of the Company.

Annual Return Filing

After the commencement of the Annual General Meeting, it has to be filed to the Registrar of Companies (ROC). Also, it is necessary to submit the audited financial statements of the company in the prescribed format to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). Furthermore, the financial statements should be filed within 30 days, and annual return should be filed within 60 days after the winding up of the Annual General Meeting (AGM).  

Forms used to file Annual Return

Companies set-up under the Companies Act, 2013 need to fill the following forms with the registrar of Companies as a part of annual return filing;

  1. Form AOC 4: Form for filing the financial statements and required documents
  2. Form AOC 4- CSF: Form for submitting containing salient features of consolidated financial statement of a group
  3. Form AOC 4- XBRL: Form for filing XBRL documents in respect of financial statement and other document
  4. Form MGT 7: Form for filing Annual Return by companies having share capital

Signing: Annual Return Form should be signed by the Director and Company Secretary, or a practising Company Secretary in case there is no CS in the company.  However, in One Person Company, it has to be signed by the director of the company.

Documents and Information That Needs to be Submitted in Form MGT 7

The following documents and information are required to be submitted along with the Form MGT 7;

  • Balance Sheet of the Company, Profit & Loss Account
  • Compliance Certificate, Registered Office Address
  • List of shareholders and shareholding structure of the company
  • Details of transfers &/or Transmission of securities
  • Shares and Debentures details
  • Changes in Directorship

Conclusion

Annual Return is a mandatory compliance for all companies registered under the Companies Act, 2013 or as specified by law under specific circumstances. Also, you can file NIL annual return; if your company does not have any transactions in the preceding year.   

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Author Info

Tanya Verma

Tanya is working as writer & editor from past 2 years with experience in covering startup and technology related topics.

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