UK Government says XBRL will be mandatory for company tax filings from 2010


22 March 2006



The UK Government said today that it plans to make the use of XBRL mandatory for all company tax returns due after March 2010. 


This step was announced as part of the annual UK budget.  It was recommended in an official report by Lord Carter on the UK Revenue and Customs (HMRC) online services, also published today, which the Government said it accepted.  The move is part of actions to increase the use of the UK’s Revenue and Customs online services and bring cost savings to both taxpayers and government. 


Company tax returns comprise both full financial accounts and corporation tax computations. 


Earlier this month, HMRC announced the launch of a service for receiving tax computations in XBRL (see  Companies House, the official body which receives company financial statements in the UK, has meanwhile started receiving accounts in XBRL.  Its new system is handling statements for audit exempt companies (see  Both Companies House and HMRC expect to expand the use of XBRL as they gain experience from their initial XBRL services.


“All companies should be required to file their company tax returns online, using XBRL, and make payments electronically, for returns due after 31 March 2010,” the Carter report said.


It added that Companies House and HMRC should work toward a joint filing facility, stating:  “This will take some time and to maximise the benefits the accounts and all other documentation will need to be submitted as machine-readable data.  HMRC is developing enhancements to its CT [Corporation Tax] Online service, which will enable accounts and computations to be submitted in XBRL rather than PDF. Our view is that HMRC should not require online submission of company tax returns until XBRL has been implemented and has bedded down.  We also think that other improvements will be needed before the CT service meets the needs of agents.  We therefore recommend that HMRC should defer requirements for online filing by companies to 2010 and that they should aim to provide a joint filing facility before that time.”




Announced by:

Peter Calvert

XBRL International