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iXBRL filing

Phasing in of mandatory iXBRL filing for corporation tax: a brief summary

Since November 2012, those obliged to file corporation tax and income tax returns have had the option to file financial statements in iXBRL format via ROS (Revenue On-line Service). iXBRL (or inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language) is a language that allows financial information to be communicated and presented in a format that may be read and analysed, both by people and computers.

This process involves presenting the data (financial statements) in a normal document format but with iXBRL “tags” embedded in the soft copy document. Tagging involves the application of computer-readable tags to business data, which enables the data to be processed and analysed automatically by software. iXBRL tags are interpreted by reference to a “taxonomy” which is, in essence, a dictionary linking each tag with the concept it identifies.

In line with the approach taken to e-filing on ROS, Revenue is rolling out mandatory filing of iXBRL financial statements for corporation tax payers in stages and has made the necessary changes in Finance Acts 2012 and 2013 to enable this. The first group, cases dealt with by

Large Cases Division (LCD), has been required to do so for all corporation tax returns (Forms CT1) submitted from 1 October 2013 on, for accounting periods ending.

Phase 2 will extend mandatory iXBRL filing to all corporation tax payers, except those meeting the audit exemption criteria below, for Forms CT1 submitted after 1 October 2014 for accounting periods ending on or after 31 December 2013.

The three criteria for exclusion from this phase are

  • The balance sheet value of the company does not exceed €4.4 million;
  • The amount of the turnover of the company does not exceed €8.8 million; and
  • The average number of persons employed by the company does not exceed 50.

These criteria correspond to the current audit exemption criteria; note that to be excluded from the Phase 2 filing obligation, a company must meet all three criteria.

Phase 3 will involve virtually all remaining corporation tax payers (though exemptions may still be available for “inactive” companies or companies in liquidation). It is currently expected that this will commence in 2015. Further details are to be announced in due course.

Companies not yet subject to mandatory iXBRL filing may do so on an optional basis. Revenue strongly encourage companies to use either the optional filing period or the test filing facilities to ensure they are fully prepared for mandatory filing. It seems likely that very few companies within the charge to Irish corporation tax will escape mandatory iXBRL filing.

If you need advice on this area please get in touch with us and call FMB on 01 645 2002.

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