Vide its circular dated March 30, 2020, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) had introduced the Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 (“CFS Scheme”) and amended the LLP Settlement Scheme, 2020 (“LLP Modified Scheme”) to allow defaulting companies and limited liability partnerships an opportunity to file belated documents, returns etc. without charging of additional fees with respect to the delay in filing and grant immunity from prosecution with respect to such delay. We had, in an earlier update, highlighted the key provisions of the CFS Scheme and the LLP Modified Scheme (available at https://www.mondaq.com/india/shareholders/918732/relaxation-schemes-for-companies-and-limited-liability-partnerships and https://lexcounsel.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Newsletter-April-012020-.pdf).
Recently, the MCA has published FAQs on the CFS Scheme and LLP Modified Scheme wherein it has issued certain clarifications. Some of the relevant clarifications are:
- Foreign company and project office of foreign company are eligible to avail the benefits of the CFS Scheme;
- Directors whose DIN has been deactivated can reactivate the same by filing of e-form/web-form DIR 3 KYC and e-form INC-22A without payment of additional fees provided the director is not disqualified;
- Returns can be filed for a subsidiary company whose holding company is under liquidation.
- Companies struck-off from the register of companies can avail the benefits of the CFS Scheme after revival of the company by the NCLT;
- Disqualification of directors cannot be removed under the CFS Scheme;
- No refund of late filing/additional fees and penalty paid by a company for filings made prior to March 2020;
- Companies which are under the management of an Insolvency Professional can also avail the benefits of the CFS Scheme, provided that the company’s status is not struck off;
- Company can also file its old annual returns for 3 to 4 years without late fees.
A copy of the FAQs may be accessed from the following link: http://www.mca.gov.in/Ministry/pdf/FAQCFSS_15042020.pdf.
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