The Securities and Exchange Commission has recommended new deadlines for filing quarterly and annual reports, depending upon the size of the company.
As part of its proposal, the SEC would create a new category called “large accelerated filers,” which would include companies with a market capitalization of $700 million or more, and redefine “accelerated filers” as companies with a market cap between $75 million and $700 million.
Beginning in 2006, according to the proposal, large accelerated filers would be required to file their annual report within 60 days of their year-end and quarterly reports within 40 days. Accelerated filers would retain their current deadlines of 75 days and 40 days respectively.
The SEC’s proposal would also allow accelerated filers whose market capitalization drops below $25 million to file an annual report on a non-accelerated basis for the same fiscal year that the company ascertains its new, lower market cap.
The proposal is open to public comment for 30 days.
This is the second time in less than a year that the SEC has postponed changing the filing deadlines. Beginning with fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2005, the deadlines for accelerated filers were to have been trimmed to 60 days after year-end for annual reports and 35 days after quarter-end for quarterly reports. In November 2004, however, the commission retained, for one more year, the current 75-day and 40-day deadlines.