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Will HMRC really show leniency towards iXBRL failings?

Will HMRC really show leniency towards iXBRL failings?

Contractor accountants will probably be wondering whether the taxman is going to stick to its word and be lenient towards businesses that were unable to file their corporation tax returns using iXBRL.

HMRC has sent letters to software developers promising sympathetic treatment for the next two years due to iXBRL software packages that are unable to handle the new Minimum Tagging List requirements.

However, the letters also warn that the Revenue expects companies to progress towards full compliance before the 1st April 2013.

Accounting software giant, Sage, are still having problems meeting the tagging requirements laid down by HMRC. Software solutions provider, IRIS, pointed out that Sage customers could be approached by the Revenue after submitting their returns. IRIS’ product director, John Pattenden, welcomed the news that HMRC will not immediately reject returns that do not comply with MTL, but customers will need to rely on the goodwill of the Revenue in order to go on operating and submitting returns.

Meanwhile, accountants and tax advisers have been warned that the cost of implementing the necessary iXBRL software could lead to expenses rocketing. The system is meant to highlight key information automatically but experts claim that 20% of tagging will still need to be done manually.

Donald Drysdale, the assistant director of tax at ICAS, said UK advisers will see an increased administrative burden due to iXBRL. The profession is already trying to help struggling businesses and they now have the dilemma of whether or not to pass on the additional costs of iXBRL reporting to their clients.

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Image: Self-Portrait #16 by r.f.m II

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