ASIC extends financial reporting deadlines again for listed and unlisted entities

Dispensation for 30 June 2020 reporting

In May 2020 Accounting News, we noted ASIC’s one month extension of reporting deadlines for listed and unlisted entities reporting under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act 2001. The extension applied to reporting dates up to and including 7 July 2020 where the reporting deadline had not already passed, and did not apply to foreign entities (including those listed on the ASX). Coupled with this relief was ASIC’s ‘no action’ position on annual general meetings (AGMs) held within seven months of reporting date instead of the usual five months.

Reporting deadlines also extended for 31 December 2020 reporting

Due to ongoing impacts of COVID-19 such as remote working arrangements and travel restrictions, some entities may continue to experience difficulties meeting reporting deadlines for 31 December 2020 half-year and annual financial statements.

ASIC has therefore once again extended financial reporting deadlines for listed and unlisted entities reporting under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act 2001. The extension applies to reporting dates up to and including 7 January 2021. Where possible, entities should continue to lodge within normal statutory deadlines. It should be noted that ASX listed foreign entities (foreign registered entities) are not covered by this extension and must report within usual deadlines to the ASX.

Does ASIC’s ‘no action’ position continue for AGMs?

Yes. Media Release 20-276 notes that for reporting dates up to and including 7 January 2021, ASIC will continue to adopt a ‘no action’ position where public companies hold their AGMs within seven months of reporting date. This means that public companies also have additional time to distribute financial reports to members prior to the AGM.

Summary of revised Chapter 2M ANNUAL REPORTING DEADLINES

The table below highlights usual reporting deadlines as well as the one-month extension for entities reporting under Chapter 2M.

Type of entity Usual ASIC deadline MR 20-276 extended deadlines
Listed entities 3 months 4 months
Unlisted disclosing entities 3 months 4 months
Unlisted registered schemes 3 months 4 months
Other unlisted public companies 4 months 5 months
Proprietary companies 4 months 5 months

Summary of revised Chapter 2M HALF-YEAR REPORTING DEADLINES

The table below highlights usual reporting deadlines as well as the one-month extension for entities reporting under Chapter 2M.

Type of entity Usual ASIC deadline MR 20-276 extended deadlines
Listed entities 75 days (2 months if Appendix 4D is required) 75 days plus one month
Unlisted disclosing entities 75 days 75 days plus one month

A note of caution for ASX listed entities

ASX listed entities should note that the one-month extension does not automatically apply to ASX lodgements until the ASX issues a Class Waiver to permit late lodgements. If this is similar to the Class Waiver covering 30 June 2020 reporting dates, we expect that it will require the entity to make an announcement to the market of its intention to rely on the extension relief. We will update you in future editions of Accounting News when the new Class Waiver has been issued for reporting dates after 7 July 2020, and up to 7 January 2021.

This publication has been carefully prepared, but is general commentary only. This publication is not legal or financial advice and should not be relied upon as such. The information in this publication is subject to change at any time and therefore we give no assurance or warranty that the information is current when read. The publication cannot be relied upon to cover any specific situation and you should not act, or refrain from acting, upon the information contained therein without obtaining specific professional advice. Please contact the BDO member firms in Australia to discuss these matters in the context of your particular circumstances.

BDO Australia Ltd and each BDO member firm in Australia, their partners and/or directors, employees and agents do not give any warranty as to the accuracy, reliability or completeness of information contained in this article nor do they accept or assume any liability or duty of care for any loss arising from any action taken or not taken by anyone in reliance on the information in this publication or for any decision based on it, except in so far as any liability under statute cannot be excluded. Read full Disclaimer.