As part of its education programme to prepare for the introduction of mandatory electronic filing of company tax returns with iXBRL format computations and accounts, HMRC has published a guide for businesses and is planning two more public events in the autumn.
The 14-page XBRL guide for UK businesses (67kb) is one of three documents on the topic available from HMRC's online Corporation Tax library. While more technical information is available from HMRC, XBRL UK and elsewhere on AccountingWEB.co.uk, the business guide is intended to give an introductory overview to senior managers within larger organisations, so they know what preparations they need to make before online filing becomes compulsory in April.
"It is a company's responsibility to ensure that it adequately complies with requirements for filing in iXBRL," the guide explains. "Companies which are using final accounts production or tax preparation software to file in iXBRL should ensure that their software is adequate to handle the type and scope of data in their reports. They may wish to consult their software providers or accountants on this point.
"Companies using external managed tagging services to produce iXBRL formatted accounts and/or computations are responsible for ensuring that it can be incorporated with the online CT600 return form for submission. Companies using conversion software to turn their accounts and computations data into iXBRL in-house are responsible for ensuring these comply with HMRC online filing requirements. They may wish to consult their accountants or auditors on their processes."
It will be a complicated transition and HMRC accepts that errors and omissions may occur with tagging. But the department is keen to help companies get it right rather than penalise them.
Corporation Tax roadshow
To give companies and their accountants more hands-on experience, HMRC will be hosting iXBRL events at Hampden Park in Glasgow on 15 September and St Andrew's Stadium, Birmingham on 3 November. The format will be similar to the exhibition held at Chelsea FC in June, but with a few months' development time under their belts, there are likely to be more iXBRL-compatible accounts productions programs on show.
The iXBRL events are free, but to help plan for visitor numbers HMRC has asked people to ring its bookings team on 0845 603 2691 if they'd like to attend – you're likely to be asked whether you're representing a Corporation Tax paying business or a professional practice.