iXBRL - Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Version 1.2 updated in August 2015

pdfChanges from the previous version (1.1) published in June 2015 (PDF 159KB)

Version 1.1 updated in June 2015

pdfChanges from the previous version (1.0) published in March 2015 (PDF 155KB)


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General iXBRL FAQs

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Detailed Profit and Loss FAQ’s

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Filing FAQs

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Tagging and Taxonomy FAQs

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Timelines FAQs

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Obligations and Exemptions FAQs

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What is XBRL?

XBRL is eXtensible Business Reporting Language. This is a language that allows the presentation of financial information in a computer readable format. This is achieved by tagging each piece of financial information with a label that identifies it in terms of standard accounting or tax concepts.

What is the difference between iXBRL and XBRL?

Standard XBRL is presented as a series of tags and numbers. iXBRL, or inline XBRL, is a more recent version of the language, which allows financial information to be presented in a format that is both human readable and machine-readable. This is achieved by presenting the data (e.g. financial statements) in a normal document format but with XBRL "tags" embedded in the soft copy document.

Does iXBRL cause a change in accounting standards?

iXBRL does not change accounting standards. It is simply a language for transmitting information that accurately reflects data reported under GAAP and IFRS.

Will Revenue make a test facility available for iXBRL filers?

A test facility will be made available to allow customers to ensure that their iXBRL files are working satisfactorily in advance of submission.

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Why must I submit financial statements in iXBRL format?

Section 133 of the Finance Act 2012 amended S.884 Taxes Consolidation Act to extend the definition of a return to encompass financial statements required to be prepared under the Companies Act. This, coupled with the existing e-filing legislation, establishes a statutory basis for the mandatory submission of iXBRL financial statements as part of the tax return.

Am I obliged to submit Tax Computations in iXBRL format?

Presently, Tax computations cannot be submitted in iXBRL format.

Will the de-coupling of the submission of the Financial Statements from the CT1/Form 11 delay the issue of the Notice of Assessment?

No. The Notice of Assessment will still issue as at the moment and will be based on the information contained in the CT1/Form 11 which still must be submitted within the prescribed timelines. Please note that where a customer has indicated that they intend to submit Financial Statements in iXBRL format but have not yet done so, the receipt of a Notice of Assessment does not constitute confirmation that filing obligations have been satisfied.

Do I have to make a separate submission of Financial Statements in iXBRL format to the Company Registration Office (CRO)?

The Companies Registration Office (CRO) process and obligations remains unchanged.

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Can I submit Financial Statements in iXBRL format in the Irish language?

Yes. The filing of Financial Statements in iXBRL format will be facilitated through Revenue's On-Line Service (ROS) which may be accessed/operated through Irish or English. However, it should be noted that the taxonomies which Revenue will accept have been developed in English.

If I file Financial Statements in iXBRL format during the optional phase, will I be subject to any additional Revenue scrutiny?

No. You will not be disadvantaged. There will be no risk analysis based on iXBRL Financial Statements prior to mandation. The voluntary phase affords entities an opportunity to test their readiness for iXBRL filing prior to mandation.

Does Revenue carry out any iXBRL integrity checking of Forms CT1?

Revenue will carry out the following integrity checks on all original or amended Forms CT1 submitted for account periods ending in 2014 or later:

  1. Turnover. A check is carried out at the time of filing the Form CT1 to determine whether the turnover declared in CT1 Extract of Accounts of the company exceeds €8.8 million. If the turnover exceeds this turnover limit it will not be possible to proceed without selecting the iXBRL option on the Form CT1.
  2. Balance Sheet Total/ ‘Aggregate of Assets without deduction of liabilities’ *. A check is carried out, at time of filing Form CT1, on shareholder funds in the CT1 Extract of Accounts. If this total exceeds €4.4 million it will not be possible to proceed without selecting the iXBRL option on the Form CT1. Not all cases where Balance Sheet Total exceeds €4.4 million will be picked up by this check. Ultimately, it is the company’s responsibility to determine whether they are obliged to file iXBRL returns.
  3. Selecting Number of Employees. When the Form CT1 is accepted by Revenue a subsequent check is carried out on the number of employees included in the most recently filed Form P35L. Where this check indicates that the number of employees is in excess of 50, the obligation to file iXBRL remains and this may affect any tax refunds, tax clearance, liability to surcharges etc. Filers should request permission from their local Revenue Office not to file an iXBRL return where the average number of employees declared on the iXBRL return is less than 50 and the P35L includes more than 50 employees. The only time it will be necessary to contact the Revenue office in respect of this is when the turnover and Balance Sheet Total do not exceed €8.8 million and €4.4 million respectively.
  4. Check if Large Cases Division (LCD) Case: When the Form CT1 is accepted by Revenue a subsequent check is carried out to determine if the case is dealt with in LCD. Where this check indicates that the case is an LCD case, the obligation to file iXBRL remains and this may affect any tax refunds, tax clearance, liability to surcharges etc.

Note:

  • *Refer to eBrief 37/2015 for transitional arrangements that apply until 31st October 2015 to the Balance Sheet Total.

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What items should be included in the iXBRL file to be submitted to Revenue?

Revenue has mandated the full tagging of financial statements including the Directors Report; Auditors Report; Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss account; Balance Sheet; Notes to the accounts; Cash Flow statements and Statement of Total Recognised Gains & Losses (please note this list is not exhaustive).

It is recognised that in practice it may not be possible to meet all of these requirements. Every company will be able to meet at least some of these requirements.

Completion of the accounts section of the Form CT1 is not mandatory where the financial statements are submitted and fully tagged in iXBRL. From Revenue perspective there should be no loss of detail in the iXBRL return in respect of items which previously would have been declared in the form CT1.

The following guide will assist in determining the minimum content and tagging in iXBRL returns required by Revenue:
Form CT1 Filer - Company Category Auditors Report Directors Report Detailed DPL * Balance Sheet Disclosure Notes
Preparation and publication of financial statements required under (ROI) Companies Act (CA)- subject to CA Statutory Audit Yes Yes Yes yes Yes
Preparation and publication of financial  statements required under (ROI) Companies Act (CA) - not subject to CA Statutory Audit   Yes Yes Yes Yes
Preparation and publication of financial statements required under (ROI) legislation other than the Companies Act (e.g. Industrial and Provident Societies Acts 1893-2014) Yes - if applicable Yes - if applicable Yes Yes Yes - if applicable
Tax Resident in ROI - not required to prepare and publish financial statements under legislation in country of incorporation or in ROI.     Yes Yes  
Tax Resident in ROI - Preparation and publication of financial statements required under legislation in another jurisdiction (e.g. UK incorporated company bound by the UK Companies Act) Yes - if applicable Yes - if applicable Yes Yes Yes - if applicable
Not Tax Resident in ROI - Operating a Branch or Agency in ROI     Yes Yes - if applicable  
Group Holding Company (Consolidated Financial Statements prepared and published)     Yes Yes  

* Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss Account

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Will I meet my obligations if I provide details from the financial statements partly through the iXBRL return and partly through the accounts section of the form CT1?

No. The iXBRL return must, at minimum, include the full financial statements including the Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss account. The accounts section of the CT1 is insufficient because it only provides an extract from the financial statements.

From what date should the tagged iXBRL Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss Account (DPL) be filed?

The iXBRL Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss Account (DPL) should be included in the inline view and fully tagged according to the taxonomy being used. Revenue accepts that for some filers an adjustment period is required before this can be met. In recognition of this, Revenue will accept that the tagged DPL may not be included in returns filed up to and including 30th November 2015. However, with effect from 1st December 2015, it is a Revenue requirement that the fully tagged DPL is included with every iXBRL return filed.

Why does Revenue require a Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss Account (DPL) in the iXBRL file?

Where the financial statements of a business are submitted in iXBRL format the accounts section of the Corporation Tax return is not mandatory for completion. However, the format of the Profit & Loss Account, as required by the Companies Act, does not provide the level of detail required in the prescribed form CT1. This is why the DPL is required in the iXBRL file.

In the case of businesses that are not bound by the Companies Act, but are obliged to file the financial statements in iXBRL, they are also required to include the DPL in the iXBRL file. The DPL should be set out in such a manner so that, at minimum, it meets the requirements of the CT1.

Generally, the DPL will contain greater detail than the limited extract of accounts section of the form CT1. It is expected that businesses will have this greater level of detail in order to compute the net profit/loss figure in the financial statements. Even if the business is not required to produce financial statements, it is expected that this level of detail will be available in order to complete the corporation tax return. In keeping with Revenue’s requirement for full tagging of the financial statements, all of the line items in the DPL should be tagged.

The iXBRL taxonomies accepted by Revenue contain a substantial number of tags for a wide array of possible DPL income and expenditure items.

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What format or layout does Revenue require for the iXBRL Detailed Trading and Profit & Loss Account (DPL)?

Revenue’s requirements should be met if a business fully breaks down its DPL income and expenditure items and uses all relevant DPL tags in the accepted taxonomies.

By way of illustration, in the context of the formats of the Profit and Loss statement required under the Companies Act, the DPL should, at minimum, provide the following additional detail:

  • Income should, where applicable, be broken down into Sales/Receipts/Turnover; Receipts from Government Agencies - GMS, etc.; Other Income.
  • Expenditure should, where applicable, provide Cost of Sales details and line item details for Administrative, Distribution and any other relevant costs.

To clarify the level of detail required, this pdfDetailed Trading and Profit and Loss Account: (PDF, 303 KB), is representative of the information, required by Revenue, to be included and tagged.

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If I file my financial statements in iXBRL format, do I still have to complete the ROS accounts extract menu?

No. Taxpayers and agents filing financial statements in iXBRL will no longer have to complete the accounts menus pages on the ROS returns.

Can sole traders submit financial statements in iXBRL format?

While there is no general statutory obligation for sole traders to prepare financial statements on the basis of a recognised accounting standard, Revenue recognises that many Income Tax taxpayers do so for practical reasons. In order to facilitate this body of taxpayers and their agents, Revenue will provide the opportunity, from 1 January 2013, for taxpayers filing Income Tax returns to submit their financial statements in iXBRL format via ROS.

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What is the process for submitting financial statements via iXBRL?

An update to ROS scheduled for release on 23 November 2012 will include new screens allowing taxpayers or agents to submit their accounts in iXBRL. This will be accessible at any time via the "My Services"” screen in ROS and will also be available during the CT1 filing process.

Financial statements may be uploaded before, after, or simultaneously with the filing of a CT1.

How will I know that my iXBRL filing has been accepted by Revenue?

A message confirming a successful filing will be returned. If a filing is unsuccessful, a message will be displayed to indicate the nature of the problem.

If I submit my financial statements in iXBRL format, do I still have to file a Corporation Tax return (CT1) or Income Tax return (Form 11)?

Yes. The forms CT1 and Form 11 must continue to be submitted.

Is it sufficient to submit my financial statements in PDF format?

PDF files are not an acceptable means of filing financial statements, as they do not contain iXBRL tags.

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Will there be a penalty for not filing correct iXBRL accounts?

For cases subject to mandatory iXBRL, filing the tagged financial statements will now form part of the tax return. However, recognising that the move to iXBRL will be significant change for some taxpayers, Revenue will not impose late filing surcharges or other penalties in respect of errors in the creation or filing of iXBRL tagged financial statements for a period of 2 years following mandation where a taxpayer has made reasonable efforts to comply with their obligations. This concession relates to iXBRL filing difficulties only and does not in any way constitute a change to the normal surcharge and penalty regime.

Can I submit a revised financial statement if an error is identified (perhaps due to a tagging mistake)?

Yes. It is possible to submit a corrective version of financial statements.

Is it permissible to submit abridged Financial Statements iXBRL format?

No. Abridged accounts will not constitute a valid submission. Section 133 of the Finance Act, 2012 amended Section 884 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) to extend the definition of a return to encompass Financial Statements, which are prepared or made out in accordance with the Companies Act 1963.

Where I submit amended Financial Statements, do I also need to re-submit my CT1 or Form 11?

Where the adjustments to the Financial Statements do not also impact the information submitted in the CT1/Form 11, there is no requirement to re-submit the CT1 or Form 11.

What should I do if I need to adjust my ROS accounting period and /or my financial statements cover more that a single ROS accounting period?

Similar to CT1s, iXBRL financial statements must be submitted in respect of ROS accounting periods. In the course of the submission process, ROS checks that the iXBRL financial statements cover the selected ROS period. This check ensures that the accounts start date is not later than the start date of the ROS period to which they are being attached and that the accounts end date is not earlier than the end date of the ROS period (subject to slight variances to take cognisance of weekends etc.)

Where financial statements being filed are for a period in excess of 12 months (for example, where an accounting period is being changed, resulting in an 18 month accounting period) then the iXBRL return, reflecting financial statements for that long period, should be filed against the second CT filing period (the short period) only. It will not now be necessary to file the same iXBRL return against the two CT periods where there is a change in the accounting period. The filer will need to notify the Revenue District (preferably send confidential details through Revenues myenquiries facility) of the long accounting period and request that the iXBRL financial statements for the first/long period are noted as not required in accordance with eBrief No. 78/2015.

Note: Where a ROS accounting period is adjusted after filing iXBRL financial statements, the iXBRL filings previously submitted in respect of such period(s) will no longer be valid and consequently iXBRL financial statements must be re-submitted for the adjusted period(s).

A company did not file an iXBRL return with Form CT1, for an accounting period ending 31st December 2013 or later, because it filed before the iXBRL Phase 2 deadline on 1st October 2014. The company is now submitting an amended Form CT1. Must an iXBRL return be filed with the amended Form CT1?

If the company is amending Form CT1 for an accounting period ended 31st December 2013, which was filed on or before 1st October 2014, there is no requirement to file an iXBRL return with the amended Form CT1.

If you are amending a Form CT1 for an accounting period ending in 2014 and availed of the Phase 2 exclusion by filing before 1st October 2014, an iXBRL return will not be required with the amended Form CT1.

However if Phase 2 thresholds would have applied, were it not for early filing, then the company may find that the 2014 Form CT1 cannot be amended without selecting the iXBRL option. If this happens, contact the iXBRL help desk, for further assistance.

Note:

  • This FAQ does not apply to cases dealt with in Large Cases Division because iXBRL filing is mandatory in all such cases.
  • If Revenue notices that there is an abuse of the early filing concession it reserves the right to request that iXBRL Returns are filed with amended Forms CT1.

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What are tags?

Tagging involves the application of computer-readable 'tags' to business data. This enables the data to be processed and analysed automatically by software. For example 'Tags' allow items of data such as Gross Profit, Stock, Creditors, etc. to be identified for the production of management reports or financial statements.

What is a taxonomy?

iXBRL tags are interpreted by reference to "taxonomies". A taxonomy is, in essence, a dictionary, linking each tag with the concept it identifies. For example, in the Irish GAAP extension taxonomy, the tag ie-gaap:ROICorporationTaxPaid denotes Irish Corporation Tax paid.

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What taxonomies will Revenue Accept?

iXBRL tags are interpreted by reference to "taxonomies". A taxonomy is, in essence, a dictionary, linking each tag with the concept it identifies. Taxonomies are open-source documents published on the Internet. There are taxonomies for most accounting standards worldwide including the various GAAP and IFRS standards. Published taxonomies may be supplemented with "Extensions" to meet specific needs.

The following is a list of taxonomies currently accepted by Revenue

Taxonomies and associated URLs (Schema Reference) currently supported by Revenue
Taxonomy Taxonomy Version Schema Reference
GAAP Public Working Draft http://www.xbrl-ie.net/public/ci/2012-06-12/gaap/core/DRAFT/ie-gaap-full-DRAFT.xsd
GAAP Candidate Release http://www.xbrl-ie.net/public/ci/2012-12-01/gaap/core/2012-12-01/ie-gaap-full-2012-12-01.xsd
IFRS Candidate Release http://www.xbrl.org/uk/ifrs/core/2009-09-01/uk-ifrs-full-2009-09-01.xsd
IFRS Public Working Draft http://www.xbrl-ie.net/public/ci/2012-12-01/ifrs/core/2012-12-01/ie-ifrs-full-2012-12-01.xsd

The Taxonomy list and versions accepted by Revenue may change over time, e.g. year on year as concepts are added/modified. In general Revenue will support and accept versions of taxonomies which have been superseded for a period of 18 months from the date the newer version of the taxonomy has been accepted. For example, the "Public Working Draft" (PWD) of the Irish Extension to UK-GAAP was superseded by the Candidate Release (CR) version (which was published in December 2012). The CR version of this taxonomy has been accepted by Revenue since July 2013, however financial statements tagged using the PWD version will continue to be valid until December 2014.

No private taxonomy extensions will be accepted by Revenue. For further information on the taxonomies currently accepted please see the 'pdf'Electronic Filing of Financial Statements - Technical Note' (PDF, 322KB) document.

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What items within the financial statements need to be tagged?

Revenue has mandated the full tagging of financial statements including the Directors Report, Auditors Report, Profit & Loss account, Balance Sheet, Notes to the accounts, Cash Flow statements and Statement of Total Recognised Gains & Losses (please note this list is not exhaustive). Detailed Pension Notes and Detailed Financial Instrument Notes do not have to be tagged.

With the exception of the aforementioned exclusions, all data items presented must be tagged including comparators (previous accounting period figures). If a data item appears more than once then it must be tagged each time. In circumstances where a financial report data item or concept does not have a matching (GAAP or IFRS) taxonomy tag, the data concerned should simply be left as plain text.

Do I need to tag data which is listed in a financial statement but is not reported, such as data represented by a dash or a blank in a table?

Data which is listed in a financial statement but is not reported, such as data represented by a dash, zero or a blank in a table, does not require to be tagged. However, if, for example, a mandatory ROS entry is represented in the financial statements as a dash or zero, it must be tagged, as otherwise the file will not pass basic validation.

In my financial statements, the narrative of Directors Report and Auditors Report is unstructured, how should I tag these?

Revenue has mandated full tagging of all data and concepts described and encompassed within either GAAP or IFRS standard should be matched with the appropriate comparable tag.

As a guide, Revenue expect the data to be tagged in respect of the Director's Report to include: Description of principle activities of the company, List of directors and Secretary, Purchase of own shares, Directors remuneration, Directors acknowledging their responsibilities under the Companies Act and the Directors signing the report and date of signing.

Similarly the Name of Auditor(s), Emphasis of matter statement, Statement on reasons for any qualification of opinion and Date of Auditor’s Report are expected to be tagged in respect of the Auditors Report.

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If I currently use a UK iXBRL software package, can I use it to make iXBRL filings to Revenue?

You should check with your software vendor. Revenue will accept accounts prepared in accordance to the UK GAAP or IFRS taxonomies supplemented by "Irish Extensions" which bridge the differences between UK and Irish standards. These are being incorporated into standard accounting software packages available on the Irish market. (For further information on the taxonomies currently accepted please see the pdf'Electronic Filing of Financial Statements - Technical Note' (PDF, 322KB) document. ).

In addition, it should be noted that although UK Corporation Tax filers are only require to 'tag' a number of specific data items on the Financial Statements (as outlined on the HMRC Minimum Tag List), with the exception of Pension Notes and Notes on Financial Instruments, Revenue require Financial Statements to be fully 'tagged'.

In the UK, HMRC provide a list of software products and services for tagging purposes. Will Revenue be providing similar lists?

No, Revenue will not be providing a list of tagging products or services.

In the UK, HMRC provide a tagging facility for small entities, will Revenue be providing a similar facility?

There are currently no plans to provide such a facility.

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Do draft/provisional financial statements have to be iXBRL tagged?

In certain limited circumstances Revenue recognises that it may be necessary to file draft/provisional financial statements. Revenue is prepared to accept that if the filer is satisfied that the only issue pending is that the financial statements have not been signed-off by the director(s), then it is in order to file the draft/provisional accounts without prior permission from Revenue. In these circumstances, there is no need to re-submit the iXBRL financial statements, when they are signed-off later [unless the draft statements are different to the final ones submitted].

However, where there are any other issues giving rise to the draft/provisional accounts, then Revenue requires the filer to contact the relevant Revenue District Case Manager [using the myenquiries facility for confidential information] outlining the reason for the draft accounts and to seek permission to file draft financial statements in that situation. If this is agreed with the Case Manager then the final signed-off set of financial statements must also be submitted in iXBRL format.

Should s110 companies that elect to re-cast their accounts to a differing accounting standard for a given accounting period submit the revised accounts with their filing?

Where a S110 company has elected to file its corporation tax returns on the basis of single entity IFRS financial statements or modified Irish GAAP it is required to file these financial statements in an iXBRL format. Where a S110 company has not elected to file its corporation tax returns on the basis of single entity IFRS financial statements or modified Irish GAAP and instead decides to file its corporation tax return on the basis of single entity account prepared under Irish GAAP as applied at December 2004 (i.e. Old Irish GAAP), that S110 company should file an iXBRL version of the single entity Old Irish GAAP management accounts upon which it bases its return. These single entity Old Irish GAAP management accounts should, at a minimum, include a detailed trading and profit and loss account and balance sheet. In addition the auditor’s report and the directors’ report that are included in the signed accounts should be submitted (this information would not be prepared as part of the Irish GAAP as at 31 December 2004 management accounts).

Under the '94 – Countries and Regons', I cannot find or select 'Jersey' as a dimension for the tag "Country of incorporation" under Irish GAAP, what should I do?

When the IE-GAAP and IE-IFRS taxonomies were prepared, under the '94 – Countries and Regons', domain members ‘Jersey’, ‘Guernsey’ and 'Isle of Man', listed under the "Home countries" heading in UK-GAAP and UK-IFRS, were not inserted as domain members on the 'Country list'. Pending the amendment of the taxonomies, the regional tag "RestEuropeOutsideIreland" (in both IE-GAAP and IE-IFRS) should be used instead.

Who is required to submit financial statements in iXBRL format and when?

Commencement Date Who
23 Nov 2012 Voluntary for all Corporation Tax payers
1 Jan 2013 Voluntary for all Income Tax payers
1 Oct 2013 Phase 1
Mandatory for customers of Revenue's Large Cases Division customers filing Corporation Tax returns except S.110 Securitisation Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)
(i) on or after 1 Oct 2013
(ii) with respect to Accounting Periods ending on or after 31 Dec 2012
1 May 2014 Mandatory for customers of Revenue's Large Cases Division S. 110 Securitisation Special Purpose Vehicles (SPVs)customers filing Corporation Tax returns
(i) on or after 1 May 2014
(ii) with respect to Accounting Periods ending on or after 31 July 2013
1 Oct 2014 Phase 2
Except those meeting *iXBRL exemption criteria, mandatory for all Revenue customers filing Corporation Tax returns
(i) on or after 1 Oct 2014
(ii) with respect to Accounting Periods ending on or after 31 Dec 2013

*iXBRL exemption criteria

To be excluded from the Phase 2 filing obligation, a company must meet all three of the following criteria viz:-

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

It is intended that all remaining Corporation Tax Payers will be included in the next phase which will commence at a later date.

What does Revenue mean by “Balance Sheet Total”?

The meaning of Balance Sheet Total has given rise to many queries and to allay confusion, Revenue is changing its meaning from 'Total Net Assets' to 'Aggregate of Assets without deduction of liabilities'. This brings the threshold of € 4.4 million into line with the way it is applied by the Companies Registration Office. There are no changes to the other two criteria and all three will still have to be met to avail of exclusion from mandatory iXBRL filing under Phase 2.

As a result of this change the following transitional arrangements will apply in respect of the Phase 2 'Balance Sheet Total' criterion:

  • No changes are required by Corporation Tax filers that used the 'Total Net Assets' test on Corporation tax returns filed to date.
  • For the period from now to 31st October 2015, corporation tax filers may use either the 'Total Net Assets' test or 'Aggregate of Assets without deduction of liabilities' test when determining if they are excluded from mandatory iXBRL filing under Phase 2.

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Must I file Financial Statements at the same time as my Form CT1 [or Form 11]?

Currently financial statements may be uploaded before, at the same time or after the filing of a Form CT1 [or Form 11]. The specified CT return filing date is normally the 21st day of the month or the 23rd day of the month where the CT return is filed [and the required payment is made] electronically on ROS. An additional 21 days after the return filing date [i.e. 21st day or 23rd day as appropriate] is applied to the filing of iXBRL financial statements.

When are S.110 Companies obliged to file their accounts in iXBRL format?

S.110 companies are mandated to file under iXBRL on or after 1 May 2014 in respect of accounting periods ending on or after 31 July 2013.

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Are all entities obliged to submit Financial Statements in iXBRL format?

Section 133 of the Finance Act, 2012 amended Section 884 of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA) to extend the definition of a return to encompass Financial Statements, which are prepared or made out in accordance with the Companies Act 1963. Therefore, all companies required under the Companies Act 1963 to prepare Financial Statements must return these to Revenue for the relevant Accounting Period.

This, coupled with the existing e-filing legislation, establishes a statutory basis for the mandatory submission of iXBRL financial statements as part of the tax return. However, Revenue will progressively mandate the submission of financial statements in iXBRL for Corporate Taxpayers beginning with cases dealt with in the Large Case Division (LCD) filing Corporation Tax Returns on or after 1 October 2013. In the meantime there will be an optional filing phase for Corporation Taxpayers from the time the system goes live on the 23rd November 2012.

While there is no statutory obligation for sole traders to prepare Financial Statements on the basis of a recognised accounting standard, Revenue acknowledge that many Income Tax payers do so for practical reasons. To facilitate these taxpayers, from 1 January 2013, Revenue will accept the filing of Financial Statements in iXBRL format via ROS.

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Do audit exempt companies have to file Financial Statements in iXBRL format?

All companies that are required under the Companies Act 1963 to prepare accounts must submit their Financial Statements in iXBRL format to Revenue.

Where consolidated accounts are prepared for a group of companies, can these financial statements be submitted in iXBRL format to Revenue?

Consolidated financial statements are prepared for an accounting period to represent the activity of a group of companies. However companies within such a group, including the group holding company, are usually individually registered for Corporation Tax and are required file a tax return to Revenue based on accounts prepared and made out in respect of that company's individual activity. Such accounts will include Directors Report, Auditors Report and Opinion, Profit & Loss account, Balance Sheet and Notes to the accounts.

Many companies avail of the exemption in section 148 (8) of the Companies Act 1963 whereby separate holding company only financial statements are not required to be submitted to the CRO. In such circumstances, the holding company accounts are stated as a consolidation of the group accounts. A holding Company only balance sheet and the related holding company only balance sheet disclosure notes are included in such Consolidated Account. There is generally no separate P&L account for the holding company or disclosure notes. Only consolidated P&L and consolidated P&L disclosure notes are required to be included.

Revenue requires individual sets of accounts to be submitted in iXBRL format in respect of each company within a group. However, holding companies may submit consolidated accounts to Revenue, provided the following are included:

  • A holding Company only balance sheet and the related holding company only balance sheet disclosure notes, and
  • Separate P&L account for the holding company containing, at a minimum, such level of information as would allow the chargeable profits of the entity to be assessed.

This individual holding company Profit and Loss account should be tagged and appended to the consolidated accounts such that one document in iXBRL format can be submitted. In addition, Revenue expects the holding company only balance sheet to be tagged. Notes to Accounts, Directors and Auditors Report should include such tagged disclosures which are relevant to the holding company.

To clarify the level of detail required, this pdf Detailed Trading and Profit and Loss Account: (PDF, 303 KB), is representative of the information, required by Revenue, to be included and tagged.

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Are companies that are not resident but are trading through a Branch or Agency required to submit Financial Statements in iXBRL format?

Yes. S.884(2B) of the Taxes Consolidation Act (TCA,) as inserted by S.95(c) of the Finance Act, 2013, extended the definition of a return in respect of a company trading through a Branch or Agency to encompass accounts, containing sufficient information to enable the chargeable profits of that branch or agency to be determined. Section 76 TCA requires such financial statements to conform to GAAP or IFRS. In practice Revenue will require an iXBRL Profit and Loss account and a balance sheet to the extent that one is prepared in respect of the branch or agency.In determining if the branch meets the deferral/exemption criteria from Phase 2 of mandatory iXBRL filing, it is sufficient to look at the numbers for the branch itself rather than the company.

Are Companies in liquidation required to prepare and file Financial Statements in iXBRL format for the pre-liquidation period?

For companies in liquidation, where there are no net assets for distribution, Revenue will accept that an iXBRL return need not be filed and the accounts extract on the Form CT1 should be fully completed instead. However, Revenue retains the right to request that an iXBRL return is filed in specific cases. Specific requests for filing the iXBRL return are more likely to be made where the company is not compliant in respect of Form CT1 obligations up to the date of liquidation.

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Do inactive companies have to file statements in iXBRL format?

At present all companies that are registered in Ireland have an obligation under the Companies Act 1963 to prepare and make out accounts. Companies that are inactive may approach their tax district to seek permission not to file returns for the relevant periods of dormancy. Revenue are willing to exempt a company from the obligation to file statements in iXBRL format.

For account periods ending in 2014 or later, companies will be able to select an option on the iXBRL page on the Form CT1 as follows:

'The company is inactive and there is no income or expenses on the Profit and Loss account and there is a balance sheet movement of less than €500.'

Where this option is selected on the Form CT1, it will not be necessary to contact the local Revenue Office or tax district.

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What criteria will Revenue use to deem a company inactive and therefore exempt from their filing obligation?

Revenue will classify a company inactive where, there is no activity in the accounting period. It is considered that there is no activity in the accounting period and hence a company is not required to submit accounts in iXBRL format as part of their returns where the following conditions are meet:

  • No income or expenses on the Profit and Loss account (annual CRO and audit fees can be ignored) and
  • A balance sheet movement of less than EUR500 except in the first year after the company becomes inactive where an inactive company is paying off their trade creditors, and have not been previously obliged to file accounts in iXBRL format.

Note: a company that does not meet the above conditions may still request an exemption from filing their accounts from their tax district if they consider their circumstances warrant such an exemption.

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