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Corporation tax and iXBRL: reasonable excuse

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HMRC published updated guidance and a new form to help users make a 'reasonable excuse' claim if they are unable to submit an online company tax return on time on or after 1 April.

The updated guidance says: ‘From 1 April 2011 all company tax returns for accounting periods ending after 31 March 2010 must be submitted online and all corporation tax and related payments made electronically. In addition, all computations must be submitted in Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (iXBRL) format. Generally, you must send the accounts forming part of your company tax return in iXBRL format, although there are exceptions where PDFs will be acceptable.

‘Many companies – and their tax agents and advisers – already use the HMRC Corporation Tax Online Service to successfully submit their returns in the correct format. But HMRC recognises that IT problems occur and sometimes things can go wrong. HMRC don't want these types of problems to undermine the successful transition to Corporation Tax online filing.

‘They will take a sympathetic approach where you have made all reasonable attempts to submit your company tax return online using iXBRL, but have been unable to do so due to an IT issue beyond your control. Similarly, HMRC doesn't expect you to have to change software suppliers in order to submit returns on time. So, if the delivery date of a particular iXBRL-enabled software product prevents you from filing your company tax return on time, HMRC will consider the circumstances sympathetically.’