The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced this Thursday that it would extend the deadline for unlisted entities to lodge their financial reports by one month for balance dates from 31 December 2019 to 31 March 2020.
Financial reports under Chapters 2M and 7 of the Corporations Act 2001 are applicable to the extended deadline. The regulator has extended the deadline as it acknowledges that the reporting processes for companies may take extra time amid the COVID-19 pandemic, as many staff are working from home, as well as travel restrictions and other impacts could affect reporting.
“Where possible, entities should continue to lodge within the statutory deadlines having regard to the information needs of shareholders, creditors and other users of their financial reports, or to meet borrowing covenants or other obligations,” ASIC said in its statement today.
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ASIC: extension will not apply to listed entities
The Australian watchdog highlights that the extended deadlines will not apply for 31 December 2019 balance dates if the reporting deadline has already passed. By the end of the week, ASIC expects an instrument extending the deadlines will be registered on the Federal Register of Legislation.
“At present, there appear to be no widespread indications of any significant issues for the relatively small number of listed entities with 31 March 2020 balance dates in meeting their full-year and half-year financial reporting obligations. The financial reports of listed entities are important to confident and informed capital markets and a broad range of investors,” the regulator said.
However, ASIC outlined that it will consider applications to extend the reporting deadlines for individual listed entities when appropriate. The regulator outlines that such applications should be made at least 14 days before the normal reporting deadline, where possible, and they should include sufficient information for ASIC to assess the impact of coronavirus and market conditions.