On December 8th, the SEC’s Division of Economic and Risk Analysis announced that it has concluded an assessment of how filers are tagging line items on the income statement over multiple periods. The staff noted that a number of filers are using different elements when tagging the same reported line item on the income statement over multiple periods, though each of those tags are included in the taxonomy versions used in the filings. The staff’s findings also determined that some filers were using one element in a form, for example, Form 10-Q, while using another element for the same reported line item in a different form, such as Form 10-K.
When filers use varying element tagging practices, it hinders comparability of data across filers and across reporting periods for each filer. To avoid this, filers are encouraged to:
choose the best element to tag both their financial statements and disclosures to help decrease the need for any subsequent changes in their tag selection for those same items
check that the same reported items (regardless of the form type being submitted) are tagged with the same elements, apart from changes in the accounting definition or nature of the reported items or other significant reason, such as finding that a tag does not match the information to be tagged