The Securities and Exchange Commission has broadened its four-month-old voluntary Extensible Business Reporting Language filing program to allow mutual funds to file exhibits to their annual report to shareholders and quarterly statements of portfolio holdings using XBRL.

Now more than five years old, XBRL is the financial reporting derivation of Extensible Mark-up Language, or XML -- a framework that establishes individual "tags" for elements in structured documents, allowing specific elements to be immediately accessed and aggregated.

Acting director of the division of investment management Meyer Eisenberg said in a statement, "Mutual funds should review the benefits of participation in this important voluntary program. Today's action is a significant step towards the collection and evaluation of XBRL data."

Mutual funds would be able to file XBRL exhibits using the U.S. GAAP Investment Management classification system. Classification systems for commercial and industrial companies, banking and savings institutions, and insurance companies are currently available under the voluntary program.

The full text of the original release announcing the XBRL program can be accessed on the commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov/spotlight/xbrl.htm.

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