Corporate tax agents are advised to batten down the hatches for the next few days as HMRC will be implementing a major upgrade to its Corporation Tax Online website on Monday 23 November.
The overhaul is part of the process to put in place a new filing mechanism to accept detailed accounts and computations in the inline XBRL format (iXBRL), the department advised last week.
The new portal will include a built-in iXBRL filing mechanism and will also accept data submitted in the new format from commercial software developers. At the moment, Forbes Computer and BTC Software are reported to have passed HMRC’s testing criteria, while Sage, Digita, Keytime and other CT tax developers are working on similar tools.
Companies won’t be required to file iXBRL data with their CT600s until 1 April 2011, but a new style return will be released when the new site opens for business. HMRC also advises anyone wishing to use the online system before the 23rd to do so by Wednesday 18 November.
It also warned: “If you have any data saved on the current HMRC online return you must make sure that you save it onto your own computer before 19 November 2009. You won’t be able to access your data through the HMRC Corporation Tax online filing service after that date.”
Addressing the ICAEW Sole Practitioners Day on Friday 13 November, AccountingWEB.co.uk editor explained that other improvements would accompany the CT upgrade. Non-VAT registered agents would now be able to sign up to handle clients’ VAT returns online.
“It’s part of a big IT drop for HMRC that will affect lots and lots of areas, but I’d stay away from it for a couple of days before and immediately after the switch, and don’t try and file online on that date,” Benneyworth advised.
AccountingWEB’s Head of Insight has been with the site since 1999 and likes to spend his time studying accountants’ technology habits. When not nerding out, you can find him exploring obscure indie music and searching for the perfect organic sourdough loaf from his base in Brighton, UK.