SEC Extends Sarbanes-Oxley Section 404 Compliance Dates

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On Wednesday, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it has extended the deadline for compliance with section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. Compliance was initially set to be reflected in annual reports ending on or after June 15, 2004, but has been pushed to November 15 2004 for "accelerated filers."

According to the SEC press release, under the new compliance schedule, a company that is an "accelerated filer" as defined in Exchange Act Rule 12b-2 (generally, a U.S. company that has equity market capitalization over $75 million and has filed at least one annual report with the Commission), must begin to comply with these amendments for its first fiscal year ending on or after Nov. 15, 2004 (originally June 15, 2004).

A non-accelerated filer must begin to comply with these requirements for its first fiscal year ending on or after July 15, 2005 (originally April 15, 2005).

The Commission similarly has extended the compliance date for related requirements regarding evaluation of internal control over financial reporting and management certification requirements, including certification and related requirements applicable to registered investment companies.

Please refer to Release No. 33-8392 for more detailed information.

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