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Do you have any comments on iXBRL tagging for corporation tax?

We have been asked by HMRC whether our members have comments on how iXBRL tagging for company tax returns is working three years on. 

We are particularly interested in your views on the detailed profit and loss account. 

Tax Faculty members can read more about iXBRL tagging and developments in this area in Anita Monteith’s briefing in April 2014 TAXline. 

To give your feedback, please email Anita at by 22 April 2014 or post a comment below. 

  • Our experience as a group preparing accounts and returns for 60-70 UK companies each year is that the iXBRL tagging requirement has resulted in a massive drain on resources, particularly time. Not only is there the time involved in actually tagging each set of stats (from 2 hours for the very smallest companies to over 2 days for the largest), there is also the internal review and control process, training and for about 20% of the companies, time taken to resolve filing problems. So in total it takes up about three man-months each year. And even then there is no comfort that the tagging has been done correctly - it's just another risk thrown in to the tax compliance cycle.

    As with many areas, HMRC seems to have no understanding of the burden this requirement has placed on business. And particularly since iXBRL filing with Companies House has now not been made mandatory, this is increasingly viewed by the business as an inconvenience which has been imposed by the tax department for no benefit, or indeed reason other than the whim of an external body.

    We are just thankful our return preparation software tags the computations automatically, otherwise we would conceivably need to hire an extra person to deal with this single requirement.
  • I am a sole practitioner and I only have 4 company clients and I find iXBRL an enormous burden, and the cost, both in my time and in additional software costs, is out of all proportion to the benefit. 
    Surely, if HMRC want detailed information from accounts, they could produce a form for small/micro companies to complete, in much the same way as we enter accounting information on the self-employment pages of a personal tax return.  Is it really necessary for micro-companies to go to the expense of producing iXBRL accounts?  Accounting standards and Companies House requirements are being simplified for small/micro companies.  Is is not time that HMRC did the same, and made an exemption from iXBRL filing for small/micro companies?
    As the previous comment said, HMRC really has no concept of the burden it is placing on business, and I think this is especially true in the case of micro-businesses.
  • Sorry to go against the flow but I haven't found it any trouble at all.

    I only have six corporate returns to do but I use VT for the accounts and the iXBRL file is produced at the press of a button, all tagging pre-completed and ready to send.

    I just attach that file to the CT return, produced by my tax software (Drummohr) and send it off.  Then just check it is received OK.  I reckon it probably takes considerably less time than when I had to print off the accounts and CTR plus CT comps, prepare a letter and envelope and send the whole lot off to HMRC.
  • I haven't found any probem with accounts tagging for the accounts I prepare myself as I use VT accounts and the tagging works well.

    With accounts prepared by the big four accountants (or the companies themselves) using word which are sent away for tagging I will have an issue with the new detailed P&L requirement.  I only prepare the detailed P&L at the Inspector's request and to date I have added it as a supplemental schedule in the computatations.  As my software package will not cater for tagging this extra sheet I'm left with a problem.  Stop including the P&L (that HMRC want) or somehow create a schedule in VT accounts (even though I have not prepared the accounts themselves).  Neither option seems great.

  • Two queries - 

    1) Do HMRC have plans to add property investment accounts to their software suite?
    2) Have HMRC added a template for Micro Entities?