“XBRL”, or to use the formal name, ‘The Extensible Business Reporting Language’, is a standard for exchanging and communicating business information via the internet.
XBRL involves the application of computer-readable tags to business data. This enables the data to be processed automatically by software, bringing great gains in efficiency and providing an opportunity for high quality analysis of business information.
The XBRL format being used in the UK for company reporting is known as Inline XBRL or iXBRL. iXBRL combines computer-readable data with human-readable information in the same document.
Documents written in iXBRL will usually appear unchanged to the human eye but they will contain hidden tags only readable by software which will use these tags to identify each set of data. To convert a Word or Excel file into iXBRL, special software has to be used which will tag all the relevant data and produce an HTML document.
A range of Internet filing enabled software and forms are available from HM Revenue & Customs and other commercial software service suppliers. These can be used to convert and file Company Tax Returns including accounts and computations online in the required iXBRL format.
HMRC provides a free product, ‘Online Tax Return – CT’. This lets you file Company Tax Returns and supplementary pages A, E and J online with Accounts and Computations templates that ensures your return is submitted in the correct manner.
HMRC require accounts in iXBRL formal along with corporation tax returns so if you need to get your accounts into iXBRL format, get in touch with your accountant or HMRC.
Anatoli Dantchenko, Associate at G&P, tel 0208 344 2323