CRO makes €11.35m in penalties in 2014
The bulk of revenues generated by the Companies Registration Office (CRO) last year came from penalties imposed on companies filing late annual accounts.
According to the office's 2014 annual report, the CRO increased the income from late filing penalties by 7pc to €11.35m last year.
The €11.35m received in late filing penalties accounted for 61pc of the CRO's total 2014 revenues of €18.57m and compares to €7m received in submission fees.
Companies who file late accounts face an additional penalty of €100 with a daily penalty of €3 thereafter, amounting to a maximum penalty of €1,200 per return.
The CRO's income was 4pc down on its 2013 income of €19.39m.
According to the annual report, "there has been a downward trend in CRO receipts for a number of years as a result of more companies filing their annual returns on time, resulting in companies paying less late filing penalties and more companies filing electronically which allows them to avail of lower filing fees".
The annual report states that 84pc of all annual returns were filed electronically in 2014 and as a result, companies saved €4.94m in filing accounts electronically.
The CRO's 2014 expenditure totalled €6.75m compared to €6.98m in 2013.
The number of new companies incorporated last year at just under 18,000 has been the highest number in recent years and represented a 14.6pc increase on 2013.
In addition, CRO was notified of 60 companies, involving 23 auditors, where the individual auditor or audit firm whose name was on the auditor's report, stated that they did not carry out the audit.
Sixty-two companies have since replaced their accounts and seven companies have had their annual returns rejected while 35 cases are still being pursued. The number of companies prosecuted totalled 66 with 34 convictions.