Filing with CIPC, AFS in iXBRL or FAS?

There has been a lot of discussion on the filing of annual returns with the CIPC since the inception of iXBRL. Companies often question whether they are liable to file iXBRL, AFS (Annual Financial Statements) or FAS (Financial Accountability Supplement)? On 1st July 2018, the CIPC (Companies and Intellectual Property Commission) announced that all qualifying entities have to submit their AFS in iXBRL format, after which the confusion arose as to whether to file AFS in iXBRL or only FAS.

Let’s try and unfold these criteria and understand whether your company is liable to file FAS or AFS in iXBRL format.

The Big Question of Whether to File AFS in iXBRL or FAS?

The annual return of entities registered with the CIPC can be submitted AFS in iXBRL format or FAS through an online form. If your entity falls under the category of AFS, you are required to file the financial statements in the iXBRL format. However, there is no such mandate for FAS.

Broadly, the following entities need to submit their AFSs in iXBRL or FASs as of 1st July 2018:-

  • All public companies
  • State-owned companies
  • Non-profit entities
  • Even the Dormant companies need to familiarize themselves with the regulations of the Companies Act and are NOT automatically exempted from filing FAS or AFS with CIPC.

Also, as per the latest amendments, entities need to refer to sections 28, 29, and 30 (4) of the Companies Act 71, 2008 while filing FAS and AFS to CIPC, which is:-

Earlier, closed corporations excluding public and state-owned companies were not required to file AFS. But, as per the latest amendments, this waiver has been lapsed as on 31st March 2013. CIPC has informed dormant companies that such entities are required to file annual returns as prescribed in terms of regulation 30 (4) while submitting annual returns.

FAS vs. AFS: The Differences Based on Submission Criteria

An entity must submit AFS to CIPC in iXBRL format only if any one of the below-mentioned criteria applies:-

  • If an audit is required as per the MOI (Memorandum of Incorporation)
  • If the PI score of the entity is 350 or more
  • If the PI score of the entity is 100 or more and the financials are internally compiled
  • If the entity holds any kind of assets in a fiduciary capacity for persons who are a part of the entity, and the aggregated value of such assets exceeds R5 Million at any given time during the financial year.

If your entity doesn’t fall under any of the categories mentioned above, you are required to prepare FAS and submit to CIPC.

Note: Considering the Covid-19 pandemic, a notice has been issued by CIPC stating that all CIPC walk-in centres are planning to re-open with effect from 8th June 2020. However, the Cape Town office will remain closed until further notice.

The entities who are required to file AFSs must do it in the iXBRL format. iXBRL format is also available for those who wish to audit their financial statements voluntarily. They can choose to file AFS in iXBRL or FAS. And those companies that don’t fall under any of the aforementioned categories need to submit FAS with CIPC. For more information on submission in iXBRL format or conversion into iXBRL, get in touch with DataTracks, a trusted software service provider with 15+ years of experience in the financial reporting domain. Please write to us @




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