COVID-19 has impacted many Australian entities and many are finding it tough to stick to their reporting obligations especially due to remote work arrangements and travel restrictions. As a response the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) announced recently that it will extend the deadline for both listed and unlisted entities to lodge financial reports by one month for entities with reporting dates up to and including 7 July 2020 balance dates.

For listed entities, it is important to note that they will be required to inform the market if they plan to delay lodgement from the normal statutory deadlines. It should be noted that companies will still be required to lodge audited (where possible) or unaudited accounts with its Appendix 4Es as ASX has not provided any relief on this front.

We recommend that where possible, all entities should still endeavour to report within the normal statutory deadlines as this will provide the market with up to date information.

ASIC has adopted a 'no action' position if public companies with year ends from 31 December 2019 onwards decide not hold their AGM 5 months from year end as normally required by the Corporations Act but decide to hold them up to 7 months from year end. For obvious logistical reasons, companies are being asked to avoid holding the AGMs during the December 2020/January 2021 holiday period.

We understand that further relief measures might be considered by ASIC depending on market conditions and the development of the COVID-19 situation.

If you require any assistance we recommend contacting your usual Hall Chadwick adviser or contact