On March 25, 2020, due to the continuing impact of COVID-19, the SEC issued an order extending its previously-issued conditional relief from certain Exchange Act reporting requirements and proxy delivery requirements.

In particular, the March 25 order provides U.S. public companies with a 45-day extension to file or furnish certain filings otherwise due between March 1 and July 1, 2020.

Also on March 25, the SEC Division of Corporation Finance (Corp Fin) issued Disclosure Guidance Topic No. 9, Coronavirus (COVID-19), offering the Corp Fin staff’s current views on disclosure considerations, trading on material non-public information (MNPI) and reporting earnings and financial results (including non-GAAP measures) in light of COVID-19.

The order provides relief for companies who may have difficulty preparing their financial statements or other aspects of their periodic reports during this uncertain time, while the guidance provides valuable insight into how companies should be thinking about upcoming disclosures, particularly in light of the SEC’s continuing focus on a principles-based reporting regime.

The SEC has also provided guidance on signature and retention requirements as well as on relief from the notarization requirements for Form ID, which is required to make filings on EDGAR.  The Form ID relief extends through July 1, subject to certain conditions.

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