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HMRC internal manual

COTAX Manual

Returns / notices: return handling: introduction

A company must file its company tax return electronically through the Corporation Tax Online Service for any AP ending on or after 1 April 2010. The accounts and computations elements of the return must be filed with iXBRL (inline Extensible Business Reporting Language) tagging, which is an IT standard designed for business financial reporting. The exceptions to this requirement are listed below.

  • Companies that are run entirely by individuals who are practising members of a religious society or order whose beliefs are incompatible with the use of electronic communications. See COM130065 for further information.
  • Insolvent companies within a formal administration or winding up procedure, but not solvent companies being wound up under a members’ voluntary liquidation.
  • Unincorporated charities, clubs and societies can choose to file their accounts in either iXBRL or PDF format, but they must file their return online and submit their computations in iXBRL format.
  • Any computation forming part of a charity’s company tax return must be in iXBRL format. However, no computation is required at all where the CT600E (Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASCs)) supplementary page of the return is completed and confirms that:

    • all income and gains of the charity are exempt from tax and
    • they have been or will be applied for charitable purposes.
  • The group accounts of group companies do not need to be iXBRL tagged.
  • Where companies use an accounting standard which has a taxonomy (a classification system) that is not supported by the Corporation Tax Online Service, such as some overseas companies trading through a branch or agency in the UK, we accept accounts in PDF format.

You view online returns using the View CT Returns application. This gives you access to the internal portal to see the return submitted by the company or agent. It normally consists of:

  • the CT600 company return form
  • the accounts
  • the computations
  • any supplementary pages required
  • any other attachment submitted to give further information.

Handling returns refers to dealing with cases that have been entered on work lists for manual intervention to ensure the successful processing of online returns and recording self assessments where COTAX has been unable to deal with them automatically. Rarely, it also relates to the receipt of a paper return.