Basics of XBRL Tagging

Effective June 15, 2012, all filings submitted in XBRL formats require block and detail tagging of the financial statements and footnotes. The specific tagging requirements are outlined below.

Financial Statements: Each line item and number needs to have its own tag with corresponding context periods and unit precisions, including parenthetical data.

Footnotes: SEC Rule 405 of Regulation S-T requires filers to block and detail tag the footnotes in 4 levels.

  • Level 1: Each footnote disclosure in its entirety must be block tagged. View Example
  • Level 2: Each significant accountant policy within the footnotes must be block tagged. View Example
  • Level 3: Each table or schedule within each footnote must be block tagged. View Example
  • Level 4: Within each footnote, each numerical value (in text and tables) should be detail tagged as done in the financial statements. Where possible, tables rather than text should be created by corporate accountants to facilitate for more accurate and efficient XBRL mapping. Here is a list of value types that do not need to be tagged. View Example

Tagging Required

Block Tagging

Detail Tagging

Financial Statements


Footnotes (in their entirety)


Footnotes: Accounting Policies


Footnotes: Schedules/Tables


Footnotes: Values


SEC Viewer

Below is an image of the XBRL on the SEC's website and the different footnote levels of XBRL data within the viewer (click to enlarge):.

SEC XBRL Previewer

Reviewing XBRL Tagging

Remember XBRL is not an exact replication of HTML. Formatting like bolding, hanging parentheses and double underscores will not exist in the XBRL filing. Therefore, when reviewing the SEC XBRL rendering, it is important to review tagged data for content with special examination of the taxonomy tag, context period, unit type/precision, preferred label, and any segment data to ensure that there are no errors. Different software and mapping reports will present this data differently. Thus, it is critical that SEC filers choose a filing agent that allows them to not only comment and mark up data but also view the as filed SEC rendering. Most filing agents will send a mapping report to the client long in advance to ensure that the taxonomy is approved before the client's first filing.

Don't wait until your required deadline or you may be unprepared.

  • We recommend contacting your SEC filing agent in advance to begin preparing for your filing.
  • Schedule a web conference with Colonial to go over the requirements and filing process.

We are very confident that we will be able to save you money, and more importantly provide professional, accurate, and prompt filing services to meet your expectations. We guarantee to take the stress out of filing with our easy-to-use filing service.

  • We offer an easy-to-use auto-tag and proof review method for your accountants to review final tagging and make changes as necessary.
  • Once your XBRL document is ready to be filed, we will load it onto your EDGAR HTML filing submission to be filed.
  • The SEC requires the XBRL files to be posted on the company's website. We provide these files for posting.

Contact a sales representative to obtain a quote or learn more about our XBRL filing services at 877-285-8605.