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What You Need to Know About iXBRL Tagging

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is just one body across the world that requires companies to file their corporation tax returns and accounts in iXBRL format.

This requirement has been in place for a number of years – specifically, since 1 January 2010, when legislation came into force that required most companies’ corporation tax returns and accounts to be iXBRL tagged in respect of any returns filed on or after 1 April 2011.

As a result of this legislation, it’s important that you understand your responsibilities when it comes to iXBRL tagging, if you are required to submit a company tax return to HMRC.

Is iXBRL tagging really necessary?

The vast majority of companies that file a corporation tax return with HMRC will have to ensure that their company tax return (also known as a CT600) along with their accompanying accounts are tagged in iXBRL format before they are filed with HMRC.

There are a limited number of cases where iXBRL tagging isn’t required. In such instances, other file formats, such as pdf, should be accepted by HMRC. Given the relatively small number of companies that fall into the exemption, it’s highly likely that your company’s return and accounts will have to be iXBRL tagged.

Luckily, if you do have to comply with HMRC’s tagging requirements it’s worth noting that the process of tagging your company’s accounts shouldn’t interfere with the presentation of the accounts. This means that you can continue to use the same layout and style as you have always done.

Understanding taxonomies

In essence, a taxonomy operates in a similar way to a dictionary. According to XBRL International, taxonomies “define the specific tags that are used for individual items of data (such as “net profit”), their attributes and their interrelationships.”

HMRC accepts a number of taxonomies for filing, a list of which is available to view here.

Take the stress out of iXBRL tagging

Tagging accounts and computations in iXBRL format can be a very technical job, and many companies may find themselves overwhelmed at the prospect of having to get everything tagged correctly, especially as year-end and filing deadlines draw closer.

Thankfully, there are specialists out there that provide managed tagging services, such as DataTracks.

DataTracks has over a decade of experience filing with a number of regulators, including HMRC and the SEC, and has experience working with a wide range of accounting taxonomies, including UK GAAP (both old and new) and IFRS. What’s more, DataTracks offers a pre-validation check to clients to provide you with the peace of mind that your filing should be successful when submitted through the HMRC gateway.

For more information on how DataTracks can help your business with its iXBRL obligations, please see our website or reach out to a member of the team at

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