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Companies to get reminder of corporation tax changes

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HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is in the process of contacting some half a million companies, advising them of important changes to the way that corporation tax is to be filed in the future.

The letter contains a leaflet that sets out details of the new filing system.

After 31 March 2011, all company tax returns will need to be delivered online for those accounting periods that end after 31 March 2010.

Also after 31 March 2011, corporation tax returns must be submitted electronically in a particular format called Inline XBRL (iXBRL).

HMRC said that companies will be able to file online either through commercially available software or by using HMRC’s own filing software, aimed at firms with less complex tax affairs.

Companies won’t need to alter their accounting processes to comply with the new system as either HMRC’s filing software or their commercial software will do this for them.

Mark Holden, HMRC’s director of Carter Programme, commented: “While March 2011 might seem a long way away, agents and businesses need to be thinking about these changes now, as they will affect accounting periods ending after 31 March next year.”

Mr Holden said that HMRC is hoping to release its corporation tax filing software towards the end of this year.

A number of commercial products should be available to support the iXBRL standard from November 2009, with more to follow.

Mr Holden added: “This will mean the majority of companies who wish to familiarise themselves with filing online before it becomes compulsory will have the opportunity to do so.”