THE Patents and Companies Registration Agency (PACRA) has extended the amnesty for companies to pay their annual return penalties by a month to January 31, 2013 to allow clients in far flung areas to benefit from the waiver.
PACRA chief executive officer Anthony Bwembya said the agency decided to extend the amnesty on annual return penalties from December 31, this year to January 31, 2013 to allow other businesses in the rural areas to file their returns.
Mr Bwembya said during the tenure of the amnesty which ran from October 1 to December 27 this year, a total 10,000 business names and companies had filed their returns from when the amnesty began.
He said the amnesty was granted to all defaulters of annual return filing irrespective of the number of years of default in order to clean up the data base in readiness for digitisation and encouraged compliance with the requirement to file annual returns.
Mr Bwembya said PACRA had noted that most defaulting businesses that had come forward to file their annual returns during the amnesty period were located in urban areas.
He said the agency's database showed that they were located in rural areas where clients had no easy access to the agency.
The agency had intended to begin the process of digitising its records in January 2013 but due to the extension of the amnesty, the exercise would only commence in February 2013.
"We have noted that most defaulting businesses that had come forward to file their annual returns during the amnesty period were located in urban areas.
"The agency's database showed that those located in rural areas where clients who had no easy access to the agency services and therefore did not benefit from the waiver of penalties," he said.
PACRA on September 20 this year granted a general amnesty to all defaulters irrespective of the number of years which started on October 1, 2012 and was expected to end on December 31 this year before extending it.