Following entreaties by the G100 and other organisations, the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) today announced it will extend the deadline for both listed and unlisted companies to lodge financial reports under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act by one month for certain balance dates up to and including 7 January 2021 balance dates.
The measure to extend deadlines for lodgement of financial reports has been taken in an attempt to assist those companies whose reporting processes take additional time due to current remote work arrangements, travel restrictions and other impacts of COVID-19.
Unlisted companies will now be able to take one additional month to lodge financial reports for year-ends from 31 December 2019 to 7 January 2021. Listed companies will be able to take one extra month to report for a full year, and half-year financial reports for 21 February 2020 to 7 January 2021 balance dates. The 7 January 2021 date accommodates companies that use a provision in the Corporations Act that allows their financial year to be changed by plus or minus 7 days each year.
Listed companies that plan to rely on the extended period for lodgement will be required to inform the market and possibly explain the reasons behind relying on the extended deadlines. An instrument extending the deadlines is expected to be registered on the Federal Register of Legislation by the end of next week.
ASIC has also adopted a ‘no action’ position where public companies do not hold their Annual General Meetings (AGMs) within five months after the end financial years that end from 31 December 2019 to 7 January 2021, but do so up to seven months after year end.
For more information and to read the ASIC announcement, please click here.