iXBRL “falls short” of full automation

NEW technology to enable the automated online filing of tax returns will still leave accountants facing a heavy workload manually inputting data, according to senior tax experts.

From 1 April HM Revenue & Customs is requiring all corporation tax to be submitted in a new technology format iXBRL.

Tax experts have said that despite the new technology being automated as much as 20% of the data involved will need submitting by hand.

“A lot can be automated, but there is still a lot you have to do yourself,” said Anita Monteith, ICAEW’s tax manager in the SME and online filing division.

She adds that a lot of software “falls short” of full automation.

Her view is backed by assistant director of tax at ICAS Donald Drysdale who claims iXBRL is a heavy administrative burden on UK advisers at a difficult time for the UK economy.

The technology is designed to automatically highlight key information contained in financial reports and tax filings. iXBRL allows financial information to be “tagged” with digital markers so that returns can be made online in a standardised format.

The experts’ claim is that a fith of the tagging will have to be undertaken manually.

There has been much controversy about the impending April deadline for iXBRL. Earlier this year the accountancy bodies came together to ask the government for a delay in its introduction. Treasury minister David Gauke rejected their pleas.


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