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The information is provided as a guide only and is not professional advice including legal advice. Although we try our best to ensure the accuracy of the information on this website, you rely on it at your own risk. You should obtain specific professional advice before taking action.

How to prepare iXBRL accounts

How to put together statutory accounts in iXBRL

What documents should be included while preparing iXBRL accounts ?

Statutory accounts must include:

  • a ‘balance sheet’, which shows the value of everything the company owns, owes and is owed on the last day of the financial year. The balance sheet must have the name of a director printed on it and must be signed by a director.
  • a ‘profit and loss account’, which shows the company’s sales, running costs and the profit or loss it has made over the financial year
  • notes about the accounts
  • a director’s report (unless you’re a ‘micro-entity’)
  • depending on the size of your company, you might have to include an auditor’s report.

Taxonomies and accounting regulations in the UK

As a concession to ease the introduction of XBRL, HMRC initially set a ‘reduced tagging requirement’. This allowed companies to use a reduced set of tags from the UK taxonomies at that time, rather than the full set of tags. However, HMRC encouraged full tagging and a number of companies and accounting firms followed full rather than reduced tagging. Under the latest taxonomies, all companies are required to provide fully tagged data.

Mandatory filing of accounts in the UK began in 2011 with two main taxonomies, a UK GAAP taxonomy and a UK IFRS taxonomy. The vast majority of companies filed under UK GAAP, while publicly quoted organisations used IFRS. The UK GAAP and UK IFRS taxonomies were similar in design and size, but with different tags to reflect the differing requirements under the two sets of standards.

The taxonomies were developed by XBRL UK, the UK arm of XBRL International, with support from HMRC and Companies House. Ownership of these taxonomies was transferred in 2013 to the Financial Reporting Council (FRC), the regulatory body which sets accounting standards in the UK and Republic of Ireland.In 2014, the FRC published three new taxonomies to handle new accounting standards taking force in the UK and Ireland.

The taxonomies (or dictionaries) currently used for filing to HMRC and Companies House are:

  • FRC accounts taxonomy - this taxonomy must be used by companies to tag accounts prepared under one of the following accounting frameworks:
  • EU-adopted International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)
  • Financial Reporting Standard (FRS) 101
  • FRS 102
  • FRS 102 Section 1A Small Entities
  • FRS 105 The Financial Reporting Standard applicable to the Micro-entities
  • Computational Taxonomy (CT). This taxonomy must be used to tag the tax computation submitted as part of the company return
  • Detailed Profit and Loss Taxonomy. This taxonomy must be used to tag a detailed profit and loss statement that has been submitted as part of the company return.

What data to be tagged

Accounts often include more than just financial data, for example charts and diagrams showing trends over a number of years, comparison with sector indices and general descriptive information on the scope of business and operations etc. Not all of this needs to be tagged. The following describes how preparers should identify which data within a set of accounts needs to be tagged:

  • the starting point is the accounts you are required to send as part of a Company Tax Return in iXBRL format. For example, a company incorporated under the Companies Act is required to send the individual accounts they must prepare for their members - a balance sheet, a profit and loss account and notes to the accounts -including any Directors’ and Auditor’s reports similarly required
  • all instances of data within the balance sheet, profit and loss account and notes to the accounts must be tagged. If a data item appears more than once then it must be tagged each time
  • the Directors’ report and Auditor’s report must also be tagged, but only to the extent that data within these are also within the Directors’ report and Auditor’s report sections of the taxonomy (together with general information, such as company name, CRN, etc).
  • prior period comparative figures within the accounts should be tagged
  • there is no requirement to tag other textual reports, such as the Chairman’s statement, financial review etc.

Preparers must tag items in financial reports for which a tag exists in the appropriate taxonomy. If no tag is available, the data concerned should simply be left as plain text.


Read Next :

All about HMRC iXBRL filing requirements | By when should you file financial statements in iXBRL format?

How To Prepare iXBRL and File CT600

Simple 4-step process to convert your annual financial statements to iXBRL and file company tax returns with HMRC.

1. Sign In

to create your account online and manage iXBRL files

2. Pay and Upload

necessary documents in Excel, Word or PDF format

3. Download

iXBRL package when ready within required turnaround time

4. Submit

CT600 with iXBRL to HMRC. We assist you in filing.



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