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Dedicated to the taxpayers of Britain, and the employees of Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), who have to endure the monumental shambles that is HMRC.
Tuesday, 28 July 2009
The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) have issued a press release stating that it is absurd that HMRC impose compulsory online filing during a recession.
It notes that HMRC plans to adopt Inline XBRL (or iXBRL) would be the first large-scale iXBRL implementation worldwide. Given HMRC's rather rickety IT systems, how wise is this without thorough embedding and testing?
Governments and their departments/organs of state don't "do IT"...PERIOD!
News Release – ICAS: Imposing compulsory online tax filing during a recession is absurd
It is absurd to require businesses struggling during a recession to introduce a mandatory online tax filing system. That's the view of The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) in response to an HMRC consultation on draft laws requiring all companies to submit statutory accounts and tax computations in a revolutionary new data format (XBRL) by April 2011.
HMRC urged to reconsider its plans
ICAS objects to the additional burdens, costs and risks of this during the current recession – when many businesses are struggling to survive and should be concentrating their management expertise on the much more pressing and important task of maintaining productivity and employment.
Donald Drysdale, Assistant Director at ICAS and a Chartered IT Professional, said:
"In his Review of HMRC Online Services, Lord Carter of Coles recommended the use of XBRL, but emphasised that the new standard should not be imposed until it had been implemented and had bedded down. He also noted that other improvements would be needed before the service would meet the needs of tax agents.
Many companies won't be ready for this. It is absurd to require businesses struggling during a recession to introduce this.
XBRL has been used relatively sparingly to date, and HMRC plans to adopt Inline XBRL (or iXBRL) would be the first large-scale iXBRL implementation worldwide, so the technology certainly hasn't been adequately tried, tested and proven to be reliable.
It falls far short of Lord Carter's criteria."
ICAS has been exploring this topic with HMRC for more than two years. The Institute was instrumental in establishing tripartite discussions among Government, the tax profession and software vendors, but now reports widespread concerns that software solutions for preparing iXBRL-based statutory accounts will not be available in time.
"It's misguided and disproportionate to mandate iXBRL-based online filing by all companies as early as April 2011.
We've urged HMRC to reconsider its plans in the light of the relatively immature market position of XBRL, and we've asked that Ministers shift to a gradual voluntary adoption of iXBRL filing until the new software for tax and accounts preparation
has been properly tried and tested."
Tax does have to be taxing.
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