ACCA believes that businesses do not have the tools, training support or time to comply with this new requirement. ACCA has been supportive in the development of iXBRL and believes it will help to protect the tax base. However, we want to be sure that glitches are ironed out and extra unnecessary costs for businesses are avoided. The solution is for business to be given more time.
We have learned that software and support is not ready for this 1 April deadline, and have been lobbying HMRC for businesses to be given breathing space so mistakes don’t happen. The concern for ACCA is that businesses are given time to file using XBRL without any problems. This means that a deferral would be better for them – perhaps a six months deferral – until they are ready to go.
This move to XBRL is a new and big change for businesses, as well as for tax accountants helping their business clients with their Corporation Tax filing. So the transition needs to be as smooth as it can be. Without the necessary software, training and support it will cause problems and frustrations.
We urge HMRC to communicate rapidly to taxpayers that its aim with iXBRL is improvement, not cost imposition. If HMRC continues with its 1 April deadline, it will impose a significant business cost on a large number of firms which will dilute, if not destroy, the message that iXBRL should be a positive long-term step for UK businesses.