09 October 2009

The announcement of compulsory XBRL filing by HM Revenue and Customs has focused upon how it will increase the efficiencies for practitioners and companies while acknowledging the underlying increase in the volumes of data that HMRC can process and analyse cheaply.

However, it has yet to be accompanied by a considered reality check on the practical challenges the changes represent.

Now a White Paper has been commissioned by Thomson Reuters from Digita Senior Tax Technology Advisor, Graham Tilbury and it was first presented at a meeting of Accountancy IT Directors at the London offices of top 10 firm PKF.

The White Paper looks at the issues and difficulties that accountants and companies may experience as they move into the world of compulsory electronic filing.

It also seeks to find the advantages of a joined up electronic filing regime and investigates the ways in which taxpayers and agents can successfully prepare themselves for the change.

The White Paper also examines how the issues and challenges might vary between corporates and accountancy firms, and whether the ultimate taxpayer is a small, medium or large entity.

It poses the question of what XBRL means to simple corporate filing where there are non-integrated accounts and goes on to discuss the learning curves of making electronic payments of corporate tax liabilities. Compulsory efiling will also begin to impact on the statutory duties of Senior Accounting Officers, firstly at large Corporates but with SMEs expected to be not far behind.

Digita Managing Director Jerry Rihll commented:

"This is a major shift in the compliance process, in the gathering of information and the use of IT. This deserves the attention of senior stakeholders across the board. The relevance is high for everyone and the time for action is now."

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