West Virginia business owners given more time for annual reports

CHARLESTON — The due date for when business owners must file a 2019 Annual Report with the West Virginia Secretary of State’s Office has been extended next week because of bad weather.

The filings were due Monday, but Secretary of State Mac Warner has delayed the due date for the annual report to be postmarked or submitted online by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to avoid the late fee.

All 117,000 for-profit, charity and non-profit entities conducting business in West Virginia are required to file an annual report with the secretary of state. The deadline to file the annual report is normally July 1.

However, earlier this week, the Capitol complex was closed due to tornado-like weather that disrupted electric service to the Capitol and other buildings. The loss of electricity affected businesses’ ability to file annual reports online and in person, Warner said.

The state Office of Technology has diligently attempted to resolve the issue as quickly as possible, but down time may result in some businesses filing the annual report late, Warner said.

“Under the circumstances, it is in the best interests of the state for my office to allow filings without penalty beyond the July 1st deadline to accommodate those businesses who may have tried to file their annual reports when our website was not operable and the Capitol was closed,” Warner said.

The late fee for filing after the deadline $50. The fee for filing the annual report is $25.

“We are here to help business owners stay compliant with the registration process and deadlines,” Penney Barker, director of the Business and Licensing Division, said. “We never enjoy having to assess a late fee.”

Thousands of business owners file an annual report in the last week of the filing period, Barker said. While the office prefers all businesses file the annual report online, filing by mail is still an option, however, mailings must be postmarked by 11:59 p.m. Wednesday to avoid the late fee.

For more information, call the Business and Licensing Division at (304) 558-8000.