Country by Country Reporting – 4 Common filing errors (and how to avoid them)

As December 31st marks the first Country by Country Reporting deadline there are technically no ‘common’ filing errors! However, we’ve been working with HMRC to make the submission process as simple to understand as possible, and discovered a few challenges along the way. Avoiding these four pitfalls will ensure a simple submissions process, and one less thing to worry about at the end of a busy Q4.

1. The UTR is not in the correct format for Country by Country Reporting

Your UTR (referred to as the TIN by the OECD) will need to be consistent for all Country by Country Reporting returns submitted to HMRC. The UTR is a 10-digit number, sometimes ending in the letter K, and may be simply called the ‘tax reference’ on your previous documentation.

2. No registration with HMRC

You must register with HMRC specifically to submit the Country by Country Report. You can do this by contacting HMRC directly through the .gov.uk website. If you do not register you will be unable to file your submission.

3. Invalid or missing CBC ID

When you register on the HMRC CBC Portal, you’ll be given a CbCID. This will need to be included within the SendingEntityIN in the template prior to conversion to XML. Without it, or with the wrong number entered, HMRC will not recognise your credentials and you’ll be unable to file. Make sure you are registered and have your CbCID well in advance of the deadline. Additionally you must make sure that your XML document file name matches the MessageReferenceID.

4. XML errors in the templates

XML errors can occur for several reasons, including validation errors with your data or using the incorrect XML schema. Something as simple as using lower case rather than upper case letters for the XML file’s character encoding can trigger an error. The best way to avoid an XML error is to have templates with built-in validation rules. This will help you see any problems prior to submitting on the HMRC portal. Additionally, it’s best to have support in place from a team who understand the validations and can solve any problems in the XML.

With Arkk Solutions, we always provide the most recent XML schema, automatically generate your MessageReferenceID and DocRefID’s, and provide clear validation errors to flag up any issues with your data entry. We’ll also have our team of support experts on hand throughout the filing period to make sure that you can solve any XML errors straight away.

If you’re looking for a simple way to convert your OECD templates into XML format for Country by Country Reporting, get in touch for a demo today.

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