Be aware of timely filing of the annual accounts at Chamber of Commerce.
Dutch legal entities such as BVs, NVs and cooperatives are required to file their annual accounts with the Dutch Chamber of Commerce (‘KVK‘) each year. These are the best known legal forms. But there are more legal forms with a requirement to file. Financial details of companies can be viewed by third parties and stakeholders by depositing. Depositing does not apply to sole traders.
A financial statement is a financial report of your company for the past year. Not or non timely depositing has consequences. Since September 2018, the law also imposes additional requirements on the information in the financial statements.
The basic principle is that you deposit the annual statement with KVK within 12 months after the end of a financial year. So the annual accounts for the year 2018 have to be filed before December 31st 2019. The management of the legal person is responsible for this. Has the financial statement been adopted? Then it must be at KVK within 8 days.
Adopting the annual financial statements is often quite a job. After drawing up by the management, the shareholders and possibly a supervisory board must also approve the annual accounts.
What is the timeline? The terms differ per legal person. If the financial year is the same as the calendar year, the following terms apply:
Within 5 months after the end of the financial year (no later than 31 May), the board prepares the annual financial statements and submits them to the shareholders. The shareholders grant the board a maximum of 5 months’ deferment for the preparation (31 October at the latest) in the event of special circumstances. The shareholders then have 2 months to adopt the financial statements. The final deposit date is therefore July 31 (5 + 2 months). With a maximum delay this is December 31 (5 + 5 + 2 months).
Exception to the rule
Are all shareholders also a director or supervisory director? Then the signing of the annual financial statement will immediately provide for this. Separate determination by the shareholders is not necessary. The extra 2 months expire. In this case, a BV will deposit on 8 June (5 months + 8 days) and no later than 8 November (5 months + 5 months + 8 days).
No timely determination
It is possible that the shareholders do not adopt the annual accounts in time. Not depositing is not an option. As the board of directors, you have a duty to file a provisional annual statement in such a case. This must be done within 7 months (31 July at the latest). With a maximum delay this is within 12 months (31 December at the latest).
No or late filing
Not depositing or not depositing on time has consequences. Within the bankruptcy of a legal person, this can be regarded as improper management. Directors can be held jointly and severally liable for any debts. In addition, it is an economic offense whereby the Public Prosecution Service can impose a substantial fine via the Tax Authorities (a maximum of 20,500 euros). Reason enough to adopt and file the annual accounts on time!