10th February 2011
As foreshadowed by FSN last week HMRC was bound to reject the accounting professions plea to postpone the deadline for the mandatory filing of company accounts in iXBRL format. The case put by the combined Institutes’ tax faculties and others was poorly argued and lacked evidence backing the central thesis that pressing ahead would “disadvantage a substantial proportion of UK businesses”. Indeed, in a special guidance issued by HMRC yesterday the government pointed out that “many small companies will be able to use the free software available on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website” to meet the iXBRL filing requirement.
In line with HMRC’s pledge to be lenient with XBRL submissions it said “HMRC’s overall approach is to advise and support people to get it right, not to reject returns or penalise people for getting things wrong. HMRC want to encourage people to make a reasonable attempt to submit iXBRL accounts and computations - without fear of penalties if the new iXBRL requirement isn’t fully met first time.”
“If a delay in the delivery of software means you are not able to produce iXBRL accounts at all, then you should contact HMRC. HMRC have established a specialist team to deal with these queries, and someone from that team will contact you to discuss the problem and agree the action to be taken. HMRC will not enforce any late submission penalties where late software delivery or other IT issues have caused the delay, and they have agreed to late submission.”