UK accountancy firms are failing to address
the wider implications of the move to iXBRL corporation tax filing,
according to a study by tax and accounting information and software
provider Commerce Clearing House (CCH).
The UK Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has ruled
that electronic filing using iXBRL is required for any corporation
tax submissions for financial years ending after 31 March 2011.
The CCH study questioned nearly 100
accountancy firms and identified a potential issue concerning
practices that receive accounts from clients or third parties that
may not be able submit tax information to HMRC in the correct
The research found 31% of accountants submit
corporation tax returns for clients produced by third parties, with
only 8% aware of how they will convert the results to iXBRL format
before its HMRC submission.
Of the accountancy firms that receive external
account submissions, 52% are in paper format and 48% in PDF, the
least iXBRL friendly formats.
Further concern was expressed by 72% of those
surveyed over the standard engagement letter not covering the issue
of iXBRL compatibility, meaning accountancy firms could be held
responsible for incorrect submissions.
CCH technical product manager David Routley
said accountants should have engagement letters on file from when
they originally started working with clients.
“With such significant changes just around the
corner, it is crucial that these are reviewed so that they cover
the possible implications of the new electronic system,” he