SEC publishes updated XBRL custom tag rates for US GAAP and IFRS

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) took up the charge of analyzing the usage of custom tags or extensions in the reports that call for eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) recently. These reports are submitted by US GAAP and IFRS filers to comply with the rules requiring financial statement information to be reported in XBRL. The analysis covered XBRL reports submitted in Forms 20-F, 20-F/A, 40-F, and 40-F/A for fiscal years 2018 through 2020.

The Commission had made the mandate conducive to filers for creating custom tags when the standard taxonomy did not provide the proper element to tag the disclosure. While this customization accommodates unique circumstances in a filer’s unique disclosure, the Commission had also noted that custom tags could reduce the comparability of data within companies. Thus, the circumstances under which custom tags could be used were limited and specified.

This analysis was mainly carried out to determine trends in filers’ use of custom tags in their XBRL financial data for these forms during the last three years. Some of the key findings of this analysis are:

  • Forms 10-K and 10-K/A show an increase in the average custom tag rates for filers across each status in 2020 compared to 2019, indicating a reversal of the decrease from 2018 to 2019 with the exception of smaller reporting companies. Smaller reporting companies have seen steady increases in the average custom tag rate since 2018.
  • All US GAAP filer categories (large accelerated, accelerated, non-accelerated, and smaller reporting companies) increased the average percent of custom tags in their submissions in 2020 compared to 2019, with an average custom tag rate of 20%, compared to an average of 17% in 2019. Accelerated and Non-accelerated filers saw the biggest increase in the use of custom tags from year-ago levels.
  • IFRS filers also had a slight increase in the use of custom tags in both financial statements (20% in 2020, compared to 19% in 2019), and combined custom tag rate for financials statements and footnotes (43% in 2020, compared to 42% in 2019).

For more information about XBRL tagging for your business, contact us.