8 Things to Know About BVI Annual Financial Returns

The British Virgin Islands (BVI) has introduced a new requirement for companies under the BVI Business Companies Act – the submission of an Annual Financial Return. Here are five key points to understand about this regulation:

  1. What is the BVI Annual Return?
    As of January 1, 2023, every BVI company is mandated to submit an Annual Financial Return to its Registered Agent. This return comprises a simple Income Statement and Balance Sheet, detailing the company’s revenues, expenses, assets, liabilities, and shareholder equity. Notably, audits are not required for this process. You can find a copy of the return in pdf format here
  2. Changes Starting January 1, 2024
    From January 1, 2024, companies with a financial year ending on December 31, 2023, will commence their BVI Annual Return submissions. To avoid last-minute stress, it’s advisable to collect all necessary accounting documentation well in advance.
  3. Filing Dates and Procedures
    The earliest date for submission of the annual return is January 1, 2024, with a final deadline of September 30, 2024. Companies with financial years ending on dates other than December 31 must submit their returns within nine months after their financial year end. Upon completion, the return must be sent to the Registered Agent, who then informs the BVI Registrar.
  4. Exemptions and Penalties
    Certain companies are exempted from filing an Annual Return, such as listed companies, those regulated under financial services legislation, and companies in liquidation (with exceptions). Failure to comply with this requirement constitutes an offence, leading to potential fines and the company’s status being deemed non-compliant.
  5. Currency and Accounting Standards
    Companies can use any currency in which they prepare their financial statements for the completion of the Return. Additionally, while the BVI Business Companies Act doesn’t specify accounting standards, many companies opt for International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) due to their widespread acceptance.
  6. Privacy of returns
    Another crucial aspect to know of is the privacy of returns, as filed returns remain confidential with the registered agent, and will not be available to the public. Regulatory authorities may however request to see the Annual Return in case of investigation(s).
  7. Are companies in liquidation exempted?
    If the Company enters liquidation (i.e. submits its liquidation documentation to the authorities) prior to the end of its financial year then that Company is exempted from preparing an Annual Return for that financial year.
  8. Penalties for noncompliance
    If a company omits to submit its Annual Return, the registered agent must inform the Registrar within 30 days. Penalties are incurred for noncompliance, including a USD 300 penalty for the first month overdue and USD 200 for subsequent months, capped at USD 5,000. Failure to file will result in the company as not been in good-standing and may also lead to the company’s name being struck off the BVI Companies Register. 
How we can assist:

Our accounting teams specialize on BVI Annual Returns as we are monitoring the legislation changes for some time now and are ready to assist you with preparation of accounting records and annual returns. You can contact us at contact@bviaccountants.com for more information on how we can assist.

Where you can read more on BVI Annual Returns?

We have prepared for you through our constant analysis and research on the new regulation a range of articles to assist you in obtaining a full understanding of the new requirement. You can read more below:

In conclusion, understanding the nuances of the BVI Annual Financial Returns is crucial for compliance and maintaining good standing for BVI Business Companies. For professional assistance and further information, companies can engage with specialized firms like Asterisk BVI, which offer comprehensive services tailored to these requirements.

*The above article is for informational purposes and does not consitute any form of advise. Contact us if you need any assistance on BVI Annual Returns.