What is the difference between AFS and FAS on CIPC?

The final step of submitting your annual return requires that you either submit a Financial Accountability Supplement (“FAS”) or Annual Financial Statements (“AFS”). This selection will depend on whether your company requires a financial audit or not.

Companies that require an audit must submit their audited AFS to the CIPC in a standardized financial reporting format, called XBRL. A company’s AFS can be converted from Word, Excel or PDF format to XBRL by an audit firm or online service provider, who will usually charge a fee according to the amount of pages in the document. After selecting the CAPTURE AFS button within the annual returns dashboard on eServices, the user will be directed to a dedicated submission portal to capture the XBRL formatted AFS. 

Companies that do not require an audit will need to capture a FAS. This is a short questionnaire to determine who is responsible for the accounting records, financial statements and other roles within the company. It will request the names and ID/registration numbers of the people/companies who are responsible, and in the case of an independent review, the reviewer’s profession number.

When submitting a FAS the company will not need to submit their AFS to CIPC, however, it is required to keep signed and approved copies of your AFS as part of your company’s records.

14 replies on “What is the difference between AFS and FAS on CIPC?”

So I open a private company with cipc but the company never operated and does not even have a bank account, so do I still need to do the annual returns with cipc, and what are the annual returns, is this tax from Sars ot CIPC?

Hi Siyabonga 👋🏼

Annual returns are a CIPC requirement and are there to notify the CIPC that the company is still active (whether trading or not). Failure to file annual returns will result in the company being deregistered.

That said, it’s not a train smash if your company gets deregistered without owning assets or trading. So it’s up to you to decide whether you want to keep the company registered or not 🙂

Hope that helps!


Hi Josh so in that regard I had exact the same issue, since there’s no financials done for that period does one still need to have an accountant for the cipc to approve that or the individual can him/herself submit? why am I asking is that i saw something like “Reviewer’s Practice number” to be involved in that.

Your reply will be appreciated, thanks.

Hi Yohanne

Nadia here from InfoDocs 🙂

You can file your annual return, you do not need to worry about the Independent Review, the objective of an independent review of financial statements is to enable a practitioner to state whether or not anything has to come to the attention that causes him to believe that the financial statements are not prepared in all material aspects, in accordance with an identified financial reporting framework and/or statutory requirements. You however do not need to worry about this, simply make sure that you select the N/A option for this part when you file your annual return.

I hope this helps!


My sincere apologies, I forgot to file the returns. How long does it take for a company to be registered after the closing dates for the returns?

My sincere apologies, I forgot to file the returns. How long does it take for a company to be deregistered after the closing dates for the returns?

Hi Paki

Nadia here from InfoDocs 🙂

Deregistration will begin automatically when a company fails to file two or more annual returns. The CIPC will then notify the company to inform them of their deregistration status (using the contact details provided to them). And the company will be deregistered altogether when a maximum of five annual returns are outstanding.

You can still save your company from deregistration if your business is in the AR Deregistration phase, simply file the outstanding annual returns as soon as possible.

Hope this helps!


Hi Moses

Nadia here from InfoDocs

Please see this FAQ from CIPC that will inform you whether or not your company requires an audit.

As for the AFS and FAS, you can file this directly on CIPC or on InfoDocs.

For CIPC simply head to Transact, click on File Annual Return, fill in the Company Resignation number and click Validate. Fill in the Turnover for the company for the outstanding year and click Validate. You will then be given the option to select if you want to submit your return with AFS or FAS. Choose the option applicable to your company, complete the questions and submit the return.

If you want to submit the return with InfoDocs simply have a look at this Help Desk article on How to file an Annual Return.

If you need any further assistance please feel free to send an email to

Good day,

I need help, so I bought a company a month ago, when I got the shares certificate I saw the company is in the process of de-registration and that there where no annual returns filed.

What can I do in this, I have no information of the annual returns for the last three years???

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