iXBRL filing for company financial statements and tax returns to be mandatory by 2014

By Andrew Lambe. 25th May 2012.

The Irish Revenue Commissioners are currently finalising proposals to make iXBRL (XBRL) filing for company financial statements and tax returns mandatory by 2014. iXBRL, which stands for stands for inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language, is a format that allows tax returns to be filed with the Revenue Commissioners electronically and be understood and analysed by computer. This will allow Revenue to analyse and compare financial information and statistical data far more efficiently and will aid them in audits, processing, forecasting, etc. It will also be a valuable tool for the Government as a whole as some fiscal data will be available far quicker. The Revenue Commissioners are planning on making iXBRL (XBRL) filing mandatory for financial statements in 2013 and all filings and corporation tax returns from 2014.

This system has already been implemented in the UK, US and several European countries. The HM Revenue & Customs in the UK have been receiving all Financial Statements and Corporation Tax computations in iXBRL since Spring 2011. It is planned to optionally allow professional advisors to test the system and file in iXBRL from Autumn of this year.

iXBRL will be beneficial to Directors and Companies also in terms of financial report preparation, analysis and communication. When implemented properly, it will allow for better analysis, quality and accuracy of financial which ultimately improve forecasting, budgeting and decision making. It is not expected that this initiative will add any burden or red tape to Directors of Irish Companies, however it is important that Irish Accountants and Tax Advisors start to ensure that their bookkeeping software and systems are compatible with iXBRL.

For more information or to make a submission on these proposals, please visit www.revenue.ie