The iXBRL Format HMRC Wants Company Accounts Submitted


Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC) mandates companies in the UK to file their tax returns with it by creating a legal obligation for each company in the form of a ‘Notice to deliver a Company Tax Return’ or CT603. ixbrl format

In 2011, the HMRC Commissioners’ Directions under the Income and Corporation Taxes (Electronic Communications) Regulations 2003 mandated that companies in the UK submit their accounts in iXBRL format if they have been prepared under the purview of:

  1. Companies Act 2006
    B.Building Societies Act 1986
    C. Friendly and Industrial Provident Societies Act 1968
    D. Friendly Societies Act 1992
    E. Insurance Accounts Directive (Miscellaneous Insurance Undertakings) Regulations 2008

As part of the Corporation Tax return, the HMRC also requires companies to submit their financial statements in the Inline XBRL or iXBRL format.

What is XBRL?

XBRL or eXtensible Business Reporting Language is a business reporting standard that facilitates the exchange of business information through the placement of machine-readable tags against the disclosures in a financial document from the backend. The standard helps increase the transparency and accessibility of business information. The XBRL Specification is developed and published by XBRL International, Inc. (XII) and many financial and regulatory reporting regimes have mandated its use globally.

Inline XBRL or iXBRL format

Inline XBRL or iXBRL is a more advanced reporting format wherein a single document becomes human-readable as well as machine-readable. A document in the iXBRL format is an xHTML file with XBRL tags embedded. The basic idea of developing iXBRL is to allow preparers to retain the original view or formatting of the source document while creating an XBRL document. The xHTML representation of the information helps the document to be human-readable.

XBRL and iXBRL — the difference

·         Only machine readable ·         Machine and human readable
·         XBRL output appears in tables ·         iXBRL output appears as what-you-see-is-what-you-get

·         You would need a special application called XBRL viewer to view or render the data

·         iXBRL output can be rendered on any standard browser
·         Offers limited flexibility for formatting ·         iXBRL offers several options to format data and helps retain a report’s formatting
·         An XBRL instance (machine readable instance) must be filed separately along with a human-readable HTML instance ·         iXBRL allows for the filing of human readable as well as machine-readable formats via a single instance document

Yet to see how an iXBRL document looks like? We have an example for you below.


The annual report in the iXBRL viewer link above is only for illustrative purposes and has not been fully tagged. Please open the link on Google Chrome, Chromium, or Microsoft Edge. The link may take up to a minute to load, depending on your internet speed.

The financial statement you see is in the xHTML format with XBRL tags embedded. The content with highlights indicates that XBRL tags are embedded behind such content.