HMRC are set to streamline their system for filing tax returns on-line alongside Companies House. This common approach has been adopted to minimise the administrative burden of changes to software on businesses.

This new data format is known as Inline XBRL (iXRBL) and will be adopted by Companies House by the summer of next year for unaudited full accounts. They will then roll out the system for all accounts they receive. Companies will be able to purchase iXBRL-enabled software from Spring next year.

HMRC will follow suit in their adoption of this system from April 2011 for all Company Tax Returns (CTRs). This will include the return form, tax computations and the company accounts. The new method for filing online will take effect for accounting periods which end after March 31st 2010. However, the HMRC’s iXBRL service will be available for CTRs from November 2009.

Chief Executive of Companies House, Gareth Jones, commented: “This early statement of our intentions will reassure businesses that both HMRC and Companies House are working closely together to align our services to make the filing of accounts as easy as possible for UK companies.”

The Carter Programme has responsibility for the improvement of HMRC’s online services. Its Programme Director, Mark Holden, said: “Today’s joint statement is an important step towards our goal of offering a joint filing facility for company accounts and Company Tax Returns, as recommended by Lord Carter’s Review of HMRC’s Online Services.”

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