Can a company apply for a change of its financial year end?

Can a company apply for a change of its financial year end?
Yes.  A company may change its financial year end by filing a form CoR25 with the CIPC which must comply with the following requirements;-
(1)    it must be the first change of the financial year end for a specific year, as  a company may only change its financial year end once during a particular financial year,
(2)    the current financial year must not have ended,
(3)    the new financial year end must be later than the date of the filing of the Form CoR25 with the CIPC,
(4)    the new financial year end  may not result in a financial year longer than  15 months; and
(5)    the form CoR25 must be signed by an active director, company secretary or other authorised person of the company.

In order to determine whether the form CoR25 complies with the above requirements, the day, month and year of the current financial year end, as well as the new financial year end, must be clearly specified on the form.  

The fee for a change in financial year end is R100.00.

Can a company file a change in financial year end for a financial year that already ended?

No.  The form CoR25 must be filed with the CIPC before the last day of its new proposed financial year end.  Thus if the current financial year end is 28 February 2013 and the new proposed financial year end is 31 December 2012, the form CoR25 must be filed with the CIPC before 31 December 2012.

How does CIPC calculate the financial year period?

The form CoR25 provides for two fields that must be completed, namely the “current financial year end” and the “new financial year end”.  The date provided as the current financial year end is counted as month 12, unless the year was shorter due to a previous change in financial year end, in which case such period is used (example 8 months).  Each month after the indicated current financial year end is then counted together with the number of months in the current financial year until a count of 15 is reached.

Current financial year end:  February 2012 (1 March 2011 to 29 February 2012)
New financial year end:  July 2012

Calculation:
February 2012 = month 12
March 2012 = month 13
April 2012 = month 14
May 2012 = month 15
June 2012 = month 16 (exceeds 15 months)
July 2012 = month 17 (exceeds 15 months)
Current financial year end:  February 2012 (1 May 2011 to 29 February 2012)
New financial year end:  July 2012

Calculation:
February 2012 = month 10
March 2012 = month 11
April 2012 = month 12
May 2012 = month 13
June 2012 = month 14
July 2012 = month 15
If the original form CoR25 was filed in time but queried, will CIPC except and process the corrected form CoR25 after the current financial year end?

Yes.  In such cases the corrected form CoR25 must be accompanied by the original query letter from CIPC that confirms that the original filing occurred in time.

The company wants to extend its financial year end more than the allowed 15 month period, how can such be done?

The company will unfortunately have to submit more than one form CoR25 that complies with the legislative requirements over a period of multiple years.  Section 27 clearly states that a company may only extend its financial year once during a particular financial period.

The company did not file a change of its financial year end for its preceding financial year end(s). Can the company still file a change of financial year end for such year(s)?

No.  Section 27(3) of the Companies Act, 2008 does not allow for the “back dating” of financial years since a company may only file a change of its financial year end while it is still within such financial year.

What sections of the Companies Act, 2008 regulates the change to financial year ends?

Section 27.