200,000 companies to go off companies’ register

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Registrar-General Jemima Oware

Names of companies that refuse to file their tax returns by the end of this month will be deleted from the list of businesses in the country, the Registrar-General, Jemima Oware, has threatened.

Mrs Oware says about 200,000 companies have since 2011 failed to file their annual returns and financial statements despite several notices and reminders.

“Since 2011 when we introduced the new e-registrar software, I have over 200,000 businesses that have not filed their annual returns, basically because some of them think they’ve not done business, COVID-19 has come, among others.

“We gave extensions for people to file annual returns, and we extended it to almost one year, and we allowed businesses to hold Annual General Meetings virtually. We gave all these dispensations, but now the time is up. By the end of June 30, we are going to start another round of penalties,” she said.

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Speaking on the second virtual forum of the #CitiBusinessFestival on Citi TV, Ms Oware said the deletion process would start in July 2021.

“Anytime you come back and want to resurrect it [your company after its name is struck out], you would have to go to the court, and at the court, the decision is at the judge’s discretion,” she added.

Warning

The Registrar General’s Department in April 2021 issued its third and final public warning of its intention to purge its register of names of dormant companies, pursuant to Section 289 of the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992).

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Companies that have their names expunged from the register would have to go to the law courts to have their business restored.

Mrs Oware said such a process can be avoided if the dormant businesses pay the required GH¢50 in addition to the yearly penalty of GH¢450, and file their returns as expected of them.

She further dispelled the notion that companies must have carried out business within the year under review before they file their returns.

“When you file an annual return, you are updating the Registrar General on changes that have taken place in your company, whether you’ve carried out any business or not. It is just GH¢50,” she stated.

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