What Foreign Private Issuers using International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) need to know

The first thing that Foreign Private Issuers need to know is that the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) taxonomy has not yet been approved by the SEC.

On April 8, 2011 the SEC issued a no-action letter stating that Foreign Private Issuers who prepare financial statements in accordance with IFRS will not be required to submit XBRL data files to the SEC until the SEC approves a taxonomy or classification system for preparing such information.

The no-action letter is available at: http://www.sec.gov/divisions/corpfin/cf-noaction/2011/caq040811.htm.

This means that if your financial statements are prepared in accordance with IFRS, you cannot file XBRL for financial data with the SEC...yet.

When will the SEC require IFRS prepared statements be XBRL tagged?

The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is working with the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) to develop a taxonomy for use by Foreign Private Issuers. However the SEC has not revealed a timeline for approving such a taxonomy.

Once the IFRS taxonomy is approved, all Foreign Private Issuers will be required to include XBRL data with their annual filing (Form 20-F or Form 40-F).

Latest IFRS XBRL Developments

Our latest discussions with the SEC indicated that upon acceptance of an IFRS taxonomy, the SEC will honor the phase in periods originally proposed. This means that the first XBRL filing for Foreign Private Issuers using IFRS will likely require “block tagging” and “detailed tagging” would only be required in the second year. This announcement is expected to coincide with the release of the IFRS taxonomy.

The SEC has recently posted a draft version of the 2013 IFRS Taxonomy on their web site, perhaps indicating its implementation is in the not too distant future.

IFRS XBRL - Stay Informed

Newsfile Corp. is keeping a very close eye on these developments. If you wish to be informed as soon as there are developments, please contact us to be added to our IFRS alert list.


Many foreign private issuers will be required to file XBRL in conjunction with Form SD beginning after September 30, 2013. The XBRL data within this form will be created pursuant to a specialized SEC taxonomy, and is not related to the acceptance of the IFRS taxonomy for financial statements. Contact us to learn how we can assist you with this new form.

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