Companies Urged to File Annual Returns on Time


The Companies Office of Jamaica (COJ) is urging companies to submit annual returns on or before the due date as the agency is not authorized to waive late filing fees in the wake of Hurricane Dean.
“Regrettably, where documents come in late despite the prevailing conditions, late filing fees will be charged because the COJ does not have the right to waive any fees,” Deputy Chief Executive Officer and Director of Operations at the COJ, Shellie Leon told JIS News.
According to Ms. Leon, every company is required to file an annual return each year as prescribed under the Companies Act of 2004. This is a document, which outlines all past and present shareholders or members of the company, as well as all transfers that took place over the previous year. Companies which fail to submit their returns on time, will be required to pay a late fee of $1000 per document.
She advised that “customers, who are having difficulties coming into our office, may visit any branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia and complete a lodgment form in duplicate and fax one of these forms to us and then send their document in by courier.” Persons may also choose to use manager’s cheque and send in the documents by courier.
Documents submitted by courier should be accompanied by a cover letter or note indicating how the customer would like the documents returned to them.
In the meantime, customers whose documents were damaged or destroyed during the hurricane may obtain certified copies of these documents from the COJ. “The cost of a copy of a Certificate of Incorporation is $150 per page, so you can always get those documents replaced if they have been destroyed,” Ms. Leon noted.
With respect to the opening hours for the agency in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean, Ms. Leon informed that the COJ has made adjustments. “We normally open 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. from Monday to Thursday and from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Fridays, however since Hurricane Dean, we have been opening from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.,” she told JIS News, adding that normal opening hours will resume as soon as electricity and water are fully restored.
She indicated that there will be some delay in returning documents due to the backlog caused by the loss of productive hours in the aftermath of Hurricane Dean. “Apart from the adjusted hours, persons must remember that we lost a working day (Monday) so while we have guaranteed service time, these times will be affected. We are asking members of the public to give us two to three days grace period to deliver these documents,” she stated.
“There were also times when the power supply, though it was restored to us, was a bit inconsistent, so for example, persons whose documents would be due on Monday, do not report for it until Wednesday. give us a little time to get things in order,” she appealed.
Persons, who may have queries or need additional information may call the COJ at 908-4419-24 or visit the company’s website at www.orcjamaica.com.

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