Why be a stickler for iXBRL deadline?

So exchequer secretary to the Treasury David Gauke has declared 1 April D-day for paper filing of corporation tax.

Six of the largest accountancy firms grouped together and wrote a letter to Gauke requesting a six month delay on the 1 April deadline. HMRC mandated all corporation tax must be filed online using a new technology called iXBRL by this date.

But despite almost the entire accountancy profession calling on the government to push back the deadline, the powers that be have rejected their appeal.

By all accounts, delaying iXBRL would have been a relatively easy task for the government and would have garnered a huge amount of goodwill from the accountancy profession by doing so. However, as astounding as it may be, Gauke has made it clear he is sticking by the previously set deadline at all costs.

The institutes are concerned tax advisers will have difficulty understanding, implementing, and purchasing new software needed for this deadline. Concerns have also been raised that the taxman will be under resourced for the flood of advisers with iXBRL questions post 1 April.

Although the government set the deadline date about five years ago, I don’t see its fascination with sticking to it – regardless of the consequences.

It seems the government is simply hoping iXBRL and filing will come together at the last minute, and although there could be hiccups, there’s nothing too drastic to worry about – therefore the deadline should go as planned.

Personally I think the institutes should start working on their “I told you so” routine, so at least that’s ready by 1 April.


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