In view of ongoing COVID-19 crisis, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) introduced certain relief measures on May 3, 2021 through General Circulars 6, 7 and 8/2021 with respect to Board Meetings (“BMs”) and payment of late fee on forms to be filed with Registrar of Companies.
Additional fee: By General Circular 6/2021, the MCA has provided relaxation to companies and limited liability partnerships on levy of late fee in respect of delay in filing of certain forms due for filing between April 1, 2021 and May 31, 2021. Such delayed filings can be done on or before July 31, 2021 without any late fee. The forms covered in this circular are: ADT-1 (appointment of auditors), INC-22 (shifting of registered office), NDH-3 (Nidhi company’s half-yearly return), FC-4 (foreign company’s annual return), MSC-3 (dormant company’s return), INC-27 (conversion of public into private company and vice versa), NDH-2 (application of extension of time) and IEPF-3 (statement of shares and unclaimed or unpaid dividend not transferred to the Investor Education and Protection Fund).
Further, by General Circular 7/2021, the MCA has extended the relaxation for late fee payment for charge related forms, namely CHG-1 and CHG-9. However, the date of creation or modification of charge should be:
(a) Before April 1, 2021 and the timeline should not have expired – In such cases, the period from April 1, 2021 to May 31, 2021 will not be counted for the purpose of the specified timeline. With respect to filing fee, if the form is filed by May 31, 2021, the fee payable as on March 31, 2021 will be levied. In case the form is filed after May 31, 2021, the fee will be levied basis time period lapsed since the date of creation or modification till March 31, 2021 + number of days beginning from June 1, 2021 till the date of filing.
(b) Between April 1, 2021 and May 31, 2021 – In such cases, the period beginning from the date of creation or modification till May 31, 2021 will not be counted for purpose of the specified timeline. Regarding filing fee, if the form is filed before May 31, 2021, normal fee will be levied. However, if the form is filed after May 31, 2021, the number of days will be counted from June 1, 2021 till the filing date.
BMs: As per section 173 of the Companies Act, 2013, every company has to convene at least four BMs in each calendar year with a maximum gap of 120 days between two consecutive BMs. By General Circular 8/2021, the MCA has extended the period of 120 days to 180 days till September 30, 2021 i.e. for first 2 quarters of financial year 2021-22.