An annual return is a document that provides information on a company’s share capital, debt, directors, shareholders, dictatorship changes, corporate governance disclosures, and so on.

The Tanzanian law dictates that every business incorporated or registered in Tanzania as a branch of a foreign company is required to file an annual report with the Registrar of Companies, generally known as the Business Registrations and Licensing Agency, under the Companies Act, 2002 (Cap RE 212) (the “Act”) (“BRELA”).

A locally incorporated firm (local subsidiary) must file an annual return in the appropriate form, together with a copy of the audited financial statements (except for those companies exempt from an audit obligation in terms of the Act).

This return must be filed no later than

(i) I the company’s incorporation anniversary; or (ii) the anniversary of the company’s incorporation.

(ii) The date on which the previous annual return was submitted (if filed on a date other than the incorporation anniversary date).

Annual accounts, in the case of a locally registered branch of a foreign firm, must be presented every calendar year in the form, comprising the information and documentation required by the Act. The annual return is typically prepared shortly after the annual general meeting at which the accounts are presented.

All firms should evaluate their compliance status as soon as possible to validate the status of their BRELA filings. This should be followed by making sure that all yearly returns are paid within the BRELA grace period.