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Property developers, investors, and letting agents running limited companies face a shake-up in the way they file financial reports with the taxman from April.
All corporation tax returns and accounts for company accounting periods ending after March 31, 2010 should be filed online.
HM Revenue and Customs will only accept corporation tax payments electronically from April as well.
To meet HMRC requirements, company directors will have to register with the taxman’s web site for passwords and codes.
In addition, all accounts and tax returns will have to be filed in the special iXBRL data format.
Besides limited companies, the changes affect other organisations that pay corporation tax, including clubs, societies, associations, co-operatives, charities and other unincorporated bodies.
Companies will be able to file online by buying special tax and accounting software or by the HMRC’s own online process, which is aimed at companies with less complex tax affairs.
To sign up for filing and paying corporation tax online visit http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/ct and then click “Register for Corporation Tax Online”.
HMRC and Companies House have successfully launched a new joint filing service for company accounts that delivers the documents to both government agencies at the same time.
For the technically minded, XBRL (short for eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a computer-readable format for financial data that works by putting a tag on each piece of electronic data (text or numbers) within a document.
Inline XBRL makes XBRL readable by people and guarantees that the layout and presentation looks the same for the author and the person reading the data, whether it is being viewed online or in print.
XBRL supposedly provides savings from greater efficiency, improved accuracy and reliability to all those involved in supplying or using financial data. These benefits are expected to balance against initial set-up costs.
The format is based on XML (EXtensible Markup Language) that is, in computing terms, a mature standard, and a proven technology that has been in use for many years.
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