The BVI Financial Services Commission has now finalised the format for the Annual Financial Return that needs to be lodged with a BVI company's Registered Agent every year (starting in 2024 or later, as explained below).
What is the format of financial return?
As expected, the Annual Financial Return consists of a simple income statement and balance sheet (see proforma at the foot of this client briefing). Also note the following:
- There are no prescribed set of accounting policies or principles that need to be followed.
- Although the default currency will be USD, any major currency may be used for the Annual Financial Return.
- There is no need for Annual Financial Return to be audited.
What is required from you?
You are required to file a financial return annually for each BVI company we administer on your behalf with Ocorian as Registered Agent within 9 months of the company's financial year-end. The first financial return needs to be prepared for financial periods starting on 1 January 2023 or later. Financial returns should be filed annually thereafter. Please see below examples of first filing deadlines based on various financial year ends for your guidance:
|First Financial Year for which financial return is due||Deadline for submission (end of 9month period)|
|January 1, 2023 to December 31, 2023||September 30, 2024|
|February 1, 2023 to January 31, 2024||October 30, 2024|
|March 1, 2023 to February 28, 2024||November 30, 2024|
|April 1, 2023 to March 31, 2024||December 31, 2024|
|May 1, 2023 to April 30, 2024||January 31, 2025|
|June 1, 2023 to May 31, 2024||February 28, 2025|
|July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024||March 31, 2025|
|August 1, 2023 to July 31, 2024||April 30, 2025|
|September 1, 2023 to August 31, 2024||May 31, 2025|
|October 1, 2023 to September 30, 2024||June 30, 2025|
|November 1, 2023 to October 31, 2024||July 31, 2025|
|December 1, 2023 to November 30, 2024||August 31, 2025|
If the financial period for your company does not fall within the above, please calculate accordingly using the above as a guide.
What companies are exempted from this filing requirement?
Companies exempted from lodging the Annual Financial Return with its Registered Agent are:
- a listed company, meaning a company that is listed on a recognised stock exchange.
- a company that is regulated under BVI financial services legislation and provides financial statements to the BVI Financial Services Commission in
- accordance with the requirements of that financial services legislation.
- a company that files its annual tax return to the BVI Inland Revenue Department accompanied by the company's financial statements (this is for domestic companies only); and
- a company in liquidation, except that this exemption does not apply to a previous year's financial year end that has already concluded prior to the start of the liquidation, and so that Annual Financial Return still has to be filed with the BVI Registered Agent within the relevant time period.
Who will see your financial return?
The Annual Financial Return will not be filed with the Regulator and details will not be publicly available.
What happens if a financial return is NOT filed?
Ocorian as your Registered Agent will be required to inform the BVI Regulator if we have not received the Annual Financial Return within 30 days of the deadline which may result in further action being taken by the regulator.
Client Accounting Services
Ocorian is well placed to assist you with the preparation of this Annual Financial Return. Please do not hesitate to contact Gareth Thomas, Managing Director - BVI, or Raven Kelly, Client Director - Corporate Services, if you need assistance in this regard. We will send out further reminders of this new requirement during the year, to ensure it is front of mind in terms of now keeping a formal set of basic accounts for your company during 2023, and the timeframe you need to lodge a copy of the Annual Financial Return with us as Registered Agent.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.