Financial statements of companies in bankruptcy
According to the Accounting Act, commercial companies (in the case of partnerships only after exceeding a certain threshold of income) are obliged to maintain the so-called full bookkeeping. It provides a complete financial picture of the company (for both internal and external purposes). It also ensures external comparability of data in the spirit of the principle of a fair and clear corporate image. This, however, requires the fulfilment of strict accounting requirements, including those related to financial reporting.
Obligation to report
A declaration of bankruptcy of a commercial company, which usually results in a rapid cessation of business activities, does not mean that the company is relieved of reporting obligations. This issue is very important as insolvency proceedings usually take several years.
Pursuant to Art. 169.1 of the Bankruptcy Act, the receiver performs the reporting duties incumbent on the bankrupt. The responsibility for preparing the annual financial statements rests with the head of the entity (as defined in Art. 3.1.6 of the Accounting Act, a receiver is also deemed to be the head of the entity).
Deadline for application
The financial statements are prepared within 3 months of the balance sheet date (i.e. the date on which they are prepared). This deadline does not change, but further obligations related to the preparation of the report are subject to certain modifications in the bankruptcy proceedings.
First of all, there is an exception to the general rule of approving the statements by the approving authority within 6 months from the balance sheet date, as well as to the obligation to submit them to the relevant court register (within the next 15 days). In accordance with Article 53, paragraph 2a of the Accounting Act, only the obligation to approve the report of the bankrupt entity was waived – the issue of deadlines for filing a report with the court register, which is not subject to approval, remained unregulated. In such a case, it seems that this period is not shortened, so the receiver is obliged to submit the financial statements within 6 months and 15 days from the balance sheet date.
Review of the report
A declaration of bankruptcy shall also exclude the need for an expert’s report to be examined. Art. 64 par. 1 of the Accounting Act clearly indicates that only reports of entities meeting the going concern assumption, which cannot be audited in the case of bankruptcy, are subject to audit.
Transfer to the Tax Office
The application of Article 27(2) of the Corporate Income Tax Law, which provides for the obligation to submit a report to the tax office (within 10 days of its approval), raises doubts. Due to the fact that in the event of bankruptcy, the report is not subject to approval, it should be assumed that the receiver is not obliged to forward it to the tax office.
Approval by the Commissioner Judge
Finally, it should be noted that the annual accounts prepared by the trustee are not subject to the approval of the commissioning judge. Such an obligation does not result from the provisions of bankruptcy law. The trustee submits accounting statements to the Commissioner’s judge (which are subject to approval pursuant to Article 168 of the Bankruptcy Act).
The above distinctions indicate the legislator’s intention to simplify the procedures related to the obligation to prepare annual financial statements, which is justified, first of all, by its much smaller significance due to the bankruptcy of the entity presented in it.