iXBRL delay – what’s the harm?

SIX ACCOUNTANCY INSTITUTES have gone above HMRC’s head and taken their request to delay an internet tax filing technology iXBRL directly to the Treasury.

Many may have already read that the ICAEW, ACCA, CIoT, AAT, ATT and ICAS wrote a letter to David Gauke, secretary to the Treasury, asking him to delay the iXBRL deadline by six months.

From 1 April all corporation tax must be filed to HMRC using the new data-tagging technology.

The argument to delay introduction has been raging between advisers and the taxman for more than a year. Going above HMRC’s head however, could have advantages for the private sector.

It is hoped that the coalition government may take the view iXBRL is compliance red tape, introduced by the previous government. The new government has pledged to reduce this complexity.

The campaigners are only asking for half of the iXBRL requirements to be delayed. A tax return includes both accounts and tax data. The private sector is asking for just the accounts information to be filed without using iXBRL technology, for another six months. HMRC doesn’t really use that information so what could be the harm?

The accounts information is mainly utilised by Companies House users and it hasn’t mandated filing using iXBRL technology until 2013.

This politically could be an easy decision for Gauke. It would keep the accountancy profession happy while cutting red tape for businesses.


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