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iXBRL: ‘outsource the work’

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HMRC are ahead of themselves in requiring accounts to be filed this year in iXBRL format. It will make more sense in a few years once companies have developed integrated systems to cover company ledgers, consolidations, statutory accounts, Companies House filings and tax returns. But for now it is a pure imposition to have to tag statutory accounts knowing that the tax inspectors are not really going to use this data. HMRC recognise this, and in their statement issued on 9 February 2011 promise to be helpful on implementation. We had a good discussion with our CRM and I would recommend that others talk to HMRC to see if there is scope to limit the number of returns required. We considered carrying out iXBRL tagging ourselves but decided to outsource the work to Deloitte.

James Aitchison, Tax Director, Hammerson plc