With the agreement of new taxonomy for tagging charity accounts, it is now possible for charities to file accounts electronically with Companies House using the iXBRL standard.
The Charity Commission and the Financial Reporting Council launched the new taxonomy for charities reporting under the Financial Reporting Standard FRS 102, applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Although over 70% of companies file digitally, up to now this has not been an option for charities.
The experience of Companies House suggests that, in order to encourage the take-up of digital filing, accounts templates would be needed to assist and support smaller charities in choosing to file digitally.
The Charity Commission is also evaluating creating its own digital filing option for charity accounts, and expects to announce plans later this year. In the interim, it can accept iXBRL accounts for display but isn’t able to use or make that data available.
The FRC Taxonomies (XBRL) page currently has a section on the charity version at the top of the page.
Civil Society News coverage includes the reassurance that the Charity Commission does not intend to make it compulsory for charities to file accounts in this digital format. Or see Charity Commission official news item.
Also from HM Revenue and Customs (26th Feb): ‘Company Tax Return: new XBRL accounts taxonomy for charities‘.
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) plans to update its systems in April 2016 to accept Company Tax returns containing accounts that have been tagged with this new taxonomy.