I'm feeling a bit like Arthur Dent from the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy who found that the plans for knocking down his house were on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying "Beware of the leopard".
Having happily sat down before Christmas to do my company's corporation tax return, I have discovered that HMRC's PDF based software cannot cope with a balance sheet which has any reserves other than profit and loss account and revaluation reserve. As my company has a share premium account, the HMRC form won't accept it (although Company's House can cope with no trouble).
So I find myself looking for alternative solutions to produce the accounts in iXBRL, which will no doubt eventually be solved.
What I find odd is that today, as I write this, I am unable to comply with the HMRC's requirements, because I don't have a mechanism for preparing accounts in iXBRL format. Is there no requirement for HMRC, in law, to provide me with such mechanism?
I suppose, in times gone by, there was no requirement to provide me with a pen so I could fill in the form, or paper so I could print my accounts, but this feels rather different.
Looking further ahead will HMRC be able to insist that all taxpayers do their SA return on line, when there may remain some who don't have access to the internet? Could they insist that all tax returns must be printed in gold leaf on the finest vellum parchment? Could they insist that all tax filings should be done by authorised agents, who, no doubt, like St Matthew would be able to charge a fee, based perhaps on the amount of tax collected.
If anyone knows the legal reference or can confirm that there is none, I'd love to hear it.