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5 Frequently Asked Questions About CIPC Annual return Submissions

Every business registered under the South African CIPC portal has an obligation to file annual company returns annually. If you are wondering when is the right time to file your CIPC annual return, this article is for you. This blog answers five frequently asked questions about CIPC annual return submissions. Let’s dive into it. 

  1. Can I file my annual returns electronically?

No.  According to CIPC, you can only file your CIPC Annual Returns electronically via the CIPC Annual Return Website or CIPC Self Service Terminal. The good news is that the  CIPC Annual Return Website is mobile and tablet friendly, which means you can file your return using your computer, tablet, or mobile phone. 

  1. What are annual returns?

If you run a private company, close corporation, or public company, you are required by law to file annual returns with the CIPC on an annual basis within a prescribed period. The purpose of filing such annual returns is to confirm whether your company or close corporation is still trading or if it will be in business soon.  The annual return may be regarded as a type of annual “renewal” of the company or close corporation registration.

That being said, if you don’t file your annual returns within the prescribed time period, the CIPC may assume that your company or close corporation is inactive and may start the deregistration process to remove it from their active records. The legal effect of the deregistration process is that the juristic personality is withdrawn and the company or close corporation ceases to exist.  

  1. Will my detail as a director or member be disclosed on the annual return?

Due to security concerns relating to the disclosure of personal information CIPC has affected the following changes relating to annual returns:

  • Only the first 6 digits of a director’s or member’s identification number will be displayed; and
  • The annual return filing certificate will not display a director’s or member’s identity number, personal address, or contact details.
  1. When must my company or close corporation file its annual returns?

The time to file your CIPC annual return will differ from one company to another. However,  your private (PTY) company must file its CIPC return, regardless of whether it was active or not, within 30 business days starting from the day after its registration date.  The same applies to a Close Corporation.  

  1. If my company has filed its tax returns with SARS, am I still required to file annual returns with CIPC?

First and foremost, you must clearly distinguish between an annual return and a tax return. Here is how the two differ:  An annual return is a summary of the most relevant information regarding the company or close corporation and is filed with CIPC, while a tax return focuses on taxable income of a company or close corporation to determine its tax liability to the State and is filed with SARS. So, compliance with one does not mean compliance with the other. Besides, SARS and CIPC are two different authorities. 

If you need any help with CIPC Annual return submissions, contact us today by emailing