SEC extends deadline for annual, quarterly reports

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THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is giving companies more time to submit their annual reports, quarterly reports and audited financial statements amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The SEC en banc has approved a 60-calendar-day extension of the deadline for the filing of annual reports and audited financial statements for publicly listed companies and issuers of registered securities with fiscal years ending Jan. 31, 2020 to April 30, 2020.

In Memorandum Circular No. 17, the SEC acknowledged the business disruptions caused by the ongoing coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

“The Commission recognizes the degree of difficulty in the preparation of the financial statements and in the completion of statutory audits brought about by the challenges in the application of certain accounting standards and in the execution of statutory audits of the affected companies within the first and second quarters of the year,” the regulator said.

Companies, whose fiscal year-end is on Jan. 31, will now have to submit annual reports and audited financial statements by July 14 from the original May 15 deadline. Firms whose fiscal year ends on Feb. 29 will now submit the reports on Aug. 12, while those with fiscal years ending March 31 and April 30 will submit on Sept. 12 and 27, respectively.

Other companies under SEC supervision will also get a 60-day extension for the submission of annual reports. Those with fiscal year ending Jan. 31 will have a new July 29 deadline, while those with fiscal years ending Feb. 29, March 31 and April 30 will have new deadlines of Aug. 27, Sept. 27 and Oct. 12, respectively.

The SEC is also extending the deadline for the submission of quarterly reports for the first quarter of 2020 by 45 calendar days from the regular filing deadline.

For example, a company whose first quarter covers the February to April period may submit its quarterly report until July 29, 45 days from the original June 14 deadline.

These deadline extensions will automatically apply to all covered companies, including publicly listed companies and other issuers of registered securities.

However, the SEC said publicly listed companies and other issuers of registered securities that are supervised by the SEC Markets and Securities Regulation Department will have to file the special disclosure form, SEC Form 17-LC, at least five calendar days before the regular filing deadline.

The SEC said it will “continue to assess the development or impact of COVID-19 in the preparation of financial statements and in the completion of statutory audits of companies and may issue appropriate rules and regulations to address the concerns that may further arise.”

Earlier, the SEC has extended the deadline for submission of 2019 annual reports and sustainability reports of publicly listed companies until June 30. Deadline for submitting Integrated Annual Corporate Governance Reports (I-ACGR) was also extended to July 30. — D.A.Valdez

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