As confirmed by a news update on their website, Sage, one of the major suppliers of accounts production software, will not be releasing its Inline XBRL-enabled products until after HMRC’s 1 April deadline.
Sage are, however, providing their users with a stop-gap solution, in the shape of ‘Sage XBRL Tagging (powered by ONESOURCE)’, a software product developed by Thomson Reuters. Sage users will have to complete their accounts production just as they do now, using the existing product; and then they will have an extra task, adding the XBRL tags, using the ONESOURCE product, which converts already-complete accounts in Word or Excel into iXBRL format.
Sage are giving no date for release of their iXBRL-enabled accounts production products other than ‘later this year’.
Here we expect the ‘reasonable excuse’ provision of HMRC’s ‘soft landing’ ought to kick in. If delay in submitting a return is caused by late delivery of software, then HMRC will probably accept that as ‘reasonable excuse’ – provided you explain the situation to them and they agree to late submission. More detailed guidance from HMRC on this point is expected soon. One important point to clarify is whether or not Sage’s provision of a work-around (which will undoubtedly take preparers of accounts extra time) will still be regarded by HMRC as late delivery of software.
At present, apart from Sage, the other major suppliers of accounts production software whose release of iXBRL-enabled versions is still outstanding include VT (whose website gives a 31 January release date and says they will be seeking HMRC recognition early in February), CCH and Keytime. Most other accounts production software is now available and listed on HMRC's site as 'recognised'.