Implications behind the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’
March 12, 2013 15:21 by Andrea Whitehouse
Much has been written about the end of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’, often promoting the common misconception that it just means the continuation of iXBRL tagging of accounts according to the Minimum Tagging List (MTL), rather than against the full taxonomy.
Whilst it is true that full tagging is not being mandated when the ‘soft landing’ expires at the end of March 2013, as was previously conjectured, there’s much more behind it.
Incorrect tagging is no longer an option
To quote HMRC: “… incorrect or missing tags may trigger HMRC’s risk-assessment rules – for example skewing one of our risk ratios – and this means there may be greater potential for post-submission contact from HMRC. That risk would be greater the less information from the minimum tagging list is tagged.”
The above statement dates from Mach 2011 and it is interesting to note that even at this early stage HMRC highlight the consequences of faulty tagging. More recently (May 2012) HMRC issued a further statement declaring it would be: “… continuing to expand the effective exploitation of XBRL, by quality assurance of XBRL tagging in a selection of returns already received and by development of the effective use of XBRL tags in risk assessment and other compliance work.” This underlines the fact that HMRC intend to use the quality of XBRL tagging to apply greater scrutiny to a company’s accounts.
More tagging rather than less
It’s interesting to note that in the same statement HMRC also pinpoint the risks involved in minimal tagging. The inference is that correctly applying a larger number of tags will actively help companies to avoid unwarranted scrutiny. Completeness is the key.
How Seahorse® can help
With Seahorse you can take steps to ensure that your tagging does not put you under the spotlight. The learning engine assists you in choosing the right tags to maintain tagging accuracy. It presents you with tag suggestions derived from its cumulative knowledge of every tag chosen by all the professionals who have used it to tag individual concepts. It’s been proven that these are not random suggestions, as the product has gained excellent results compared with others, and has reached up to a 99.9% pass rate at the HMRC Gateway.
Using Seahorse, you have the choice whether to apply full tagging or whether to use the Minimum Tagging List.
Whichever you choose, you can be sure that accuracy and transparency are assured.