<b>Technology Feature:</b> Will your corporation tax and accounts software cope with XBRL? By John Stokdyk

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Lord Carter of Coles lent new impetus to the development of the international business reporting data standard XBRL when he recommended in his review of Revenue & Customs online services that from 2010, all UK companies be required to submit their Corporation Tax returns online using XBRL.

After more than four years' work, HMRC this month announced that its Corporation Tax Online service can now accept tax computations in XBRL (eXtensible Business Reporting Language). Companies House, too, now supports the format for audit exempt accounts. Both organisations are looking to expand the scope of accounts filed in XBRL, but for the moment, HMRC requires companies to submit accounts as PDF files to accompany an XBRL CT600 computations.

Paragraph 7.3 of the Carter review noted that HMRC was develo...

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23rd Mar 2006 09:06

wouldn't it be a good idea
if companies house and hmrc developed a taxonomy that was complimentary rather than divergent?

It would be a standard that should enable much better and simpler reporting in mainstream accounting apps - something of value to sme's!

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23rd Mar 2006 17:09

No Taxation Without Representation! -Get Carter!
I am appalled on reading the latest of a series of efforts by the Treasury to interfere between the profession and its clients.

First, Hector the Inspector tried to suggest that Self Assessment was precisely that.

Then we had the motto that "Tax does not have to be taxing". No? But it is!

Then sweeteners for PAYE returns to be on-line in 2005.

Now we have the Carter report. Given the infringement of civil liberties surrounding these proposals, not to mention the Human Rights Act, I think the Chancellor should be made aware of these objections.

I would need to double my present staff for the first six months of the cycle and half the requirement for the following six months, even if I could find staff to work under such an arbitrary basis. If my experience is similar to other practices, the loss of PAYE jobs throughout the UK would not look good on a would-be Prime Minister's CV!

I believe that it should be possible to draw up pro forma letters of complaint from clients put out by these proposals and submit them to the Treasury Minister or their MP. It would be necessary for practices to take part across the UK in order to make a significant impact. A draft letter could be enclosed with the accounts, with suitable explanation. This would allow opposition to crystallise and if the oppostion parties supported the complaint, with votes at stake, the proposals could be defeated in Parliament.

Failure to act now could leave our clients as soft targets, many computer illiterate, struggling with misleading software, paying higher than justified tax yield and paying serious fees for the inevitable investigations, leaving less choice on the high street because smaller practices would not be available.

Peter White

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