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Accounting Standard – AS 22

(issued 2001)

Accounting for Taxes on Income

Objective

The objective of this Standard is to prescribe accounting treatment for taxes on income. Taxes on income is one of the significant items in the statement of profit and loss of an enterprise. In accordance with the matching concept, taxes on income are accrued in the same period as the revenue and expenses to which they relate. Matching of such taxes against revenue for a period poses special problems arising from the fact that in a number of cases, taxable income may be significantly different from the accounting income. This divergence between taxable income and accounting income arises due to two main reasons. Firstly, there are differences between items of revenue and expenses as appearing in the statement of profit and loss and the items which are considered as revenue, expenses or deductions for tax purposes. Secondly, there are differences between the amount in respect of a particular item of revenue or expense as recognised in the statement of profit and loss and the corresponding amount which is recognised for the computation of taxable income.

Scope

1. This Standard should be applied in accounting for taxes on income. This includes the determination of the amount of the expense or saving related to taxes on income in respect of an accounting period and the disclosure of such an amount in the financial statements.
2. For the purposes of this Standard, taxes on income include all domestic and foreign taxes which are based on taxable income.
3. This Standard does not specify when, or how, an enterprise should account for taxes that are payable on distribution of dividends and other distributions made by the enterprise.

Attention is specifically drawn to paragraph 4.3 of the Preface, according to which Accounting Standards are intended to apply only to items which are material.

Definitions

4. For the purpose of this Standard, the following terms are used with the meanings specified:
4.1 Accounting income (loss) is the net profit or loss for a period, as reported in the statement of profit and loss, before deducting income tax expense or adding income tax saving.
4.2 Taxable income (tax loss) is the amount of the income (loss) for a period, determined in accordance with the tax laws, based upon which income tax payable (recoverable) is determined.
4.3 Tax expense (tax saving) is the aggregate of current tax and deferred tax charged or credited to the statement of profit and loss for the period.
4.4 Current tax is the amount of income tax determined to be payable (recoverable) in respect of the taxable income (tax loss) for a period.
4.5 Deferred tax is the tax effect of timing differences.
4.6 Timing differences are the differences between taxable income and accounting income for a period that originate in one period and are capable of reversal in one or more subsequent periods.
4.7 Permanent differences are the differences between taxable income and accounting income for a period that originate in one period and do not reverse subsequently.
5. Taxable income is calculated in accordance with tax laws. In some circumstances, the requirements of these laws to compute taxable income differ from the accounting policies applied to determine accounting income. The effect of this difference is that the taxable income and accounting income may not be the same.
6. The differences between taxable income and accounting income can be classified into permanent differences and timing differences. Permanent differences are those differences between taxable income and accounting income which originate in one period and do not reverse subsequently. For instance, if for the purpose of computing taxable income, the tax laws allow only a part of an item of expenditure, the disallowed amount would result in a permanent difference.
7. Timing differences are those differences between taxable income and accounting income for a period that originate in one period and are capable of reversal in one or more subsequent periods. Timing differences arise because the period in which some items of revenue and expenses are included in taxable income do not coincide with the period in which such items of revenue and expenses are included or considered in arriving at accounting income. For example, machinery purchased for scientific research related to business is fully allowed as deduction in the first year for tax purposes whereas the same would be charged to the statement of profit and loss as depreciation over its useful life. The total depreciation charged on the machinery for accounting purposes and the amount allowed as deduction for tax purposes will ultimately be the same, but periods over which the depreciation is charged and the deduction is allowed will differ. Another example of timing difference is a situation where, for the purpose of computing taxable income, tax laws allow depreciation on the basis of the written down value method, whereas for accounting purposes, straight line method is used. Some other examples of timing differences arising under the Indian tax laws are given in Illustration 1.
8. Unabsorbed depreciation and carry forward of losses which can be set- off against future taxable income are also considered as timing differences and result in deferred tax assets, subject to consideration of prudence (see paragraphs 15-18).

Recognition

9. Tax expense for the period, comprising current tax and deferred tax, should be included in the determination of the net profit or loss for the period.
10. Taxes on income are considered to be an expense incurred by the enterprise in earning income and are accrued in the same period as the revenue and expenses to which they relate. Such matching may result into timing differences. The tax effects of timing differences are included in the tax expense in the statement of profit and loss and as deferred tax assets (subject to the consideration of prudence as set out in paragraphs 15-18) or as deferred tax liabilities, in the balance sheet.
11. An example of tax effect of a timing difference that results in a deferred tax asset is an expense provided in the statement of profit and loss but not allowed as a deduction under Section 43B of the Income-tax Act, 1961. This timing difference will reverse when the deduction of that expense is allowed under Section 43B in subsequent year(s). An example of tax effect of a timing difference resulting in a deferred tax liability is the higher charge of depreciation allowable under the Income-tax Act, 1961, compared to the depreciation provided in the statement of profit and loss. In subsequent years, the differential will reverse when comparatively lower depreciation will be allowed for tax purposes.
12. Permanent differences do not result in deferred tax assets or deferred tax liabilities.
13. Deferred tax should be recognised for all the timing differences, subject to the consideration of prudence in respect of deferred tax assets as set out in paragraphs 15-18.
Explanation:
(a) The deferred tax in respect of timing differences which reverse during the tax holiday period is not recognised to the extent the enterprise’s gross total income is subject to the deduction during the tax holiday period as per the requirements of sections 80- IA/80IB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’). In case of sections 10A/10B of the Act (covered under Chapter III of the Act dealing with incomes which do not form part of total income), the deferred tax in respect of timing differences which reverse during the tax holiday period is not recognised to the extent deduction from the total income of an enterprise is allowed during the tax holiday period as per the provisions of the said sections.
(b) Deferred tax in respect of timing differences which reverse after the tax holiday period is recognised in the year in which the timing differences originate. However, recognition of deferred tax assets is subject to the consideration of prudence as laid down in paragraphs 15 to 18.
(c) For the above purposes, the timing differences which originate first are considered to reverse first.
The application of the above explaination is illustrated in the Illustration attached to the Standard.
14. This Standard requires recognition of deferred tax for all the timing differences. This is based on the principle that the financial statements for a period should recognise the tax effect, whether current or deferred, of all the transactions occurring in that period.
15. Except in the situations stated in paragraph 17, deferred tax assets should be recognised and carried forward only to the extent that there is a reasonable certainty that sufficient future taxable income will be available against which such deferred tax assets can be realised.
16. While recognising the tax effect of timing differences, consideration of prudence cannot be ignored. Therefore, deferred tax assets are recognised and carried forward only to the extent that there is a reasonable certainty of their realisation. This reasonable level of certainty would normally be achieved by examining the past record of the enterprise and by making realistic estimates of profits for the future.
17. Where an enterprise has unabsorbed depreciation or carry forward of losses under tax laws, deferred tax assets should be recognised only to the extent that there is virtual certainty supported by convincing evidence4 that sufficient future taxable income will be available against which such deferred tax assets can be realised.
Explanation:
1. Determination of virtual certainty that sufficient future taxable income will be available is a matter of judgement based on convincing evidence and will have to be evaluated on a case to case basis. Virtual certainty refers to the extent of certainty, which, for all practical purposes, can be considered certain. Virtual certainty cannot be based merely on forecasts of performance such as business plans. Virtual certainty is not a matter of perception and is to be supported by convincing evidence. Evidence is a matter of fact. To be convincing, the evidence should be available at the reporting date in a concrete form, for example, a profitable binding export order, cancellation of which will result in payment of heavy damages by the defaulting party. On the other hand, a projection of the future profits made by an enterprise based on the future capital expenditures or future restructuring etc. submitted even to an outside agency, e.g., to a credit agency for obtaining loans and accepted by that agency cannot, in isolation, be considered as convincing evidence.
2 (a) As per the relevant provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (here in after referred to as the ‘Act’), the ‘loss’ arising under the head ‘Capital gains’can be carried forward and set-off in future years, only against the income arising under that head as per the requirements of the Act.
(b) Where an enterprise’s statement of profit and loss includes an item of ‘loss’ which can be set-off in future for taxation purposes, only against the income arising under the head ‘Capital gains’ as per the requirements of the Act, that item is a timing difference to the extent it is not set-off in the current year and is allowed to be set-off against the income arising under the head ‘Capital gains’ in subsequent years subject to the provisions of the Act. In respect of such ‘loss’, deferred tax asset is recognised and carried forward subject to the consideration of prudence. Accordingly, in respect of such ‘loss’, deferred tax asset is recognised and carried forward only to the extent that there is a virtual certainty, supported by convincing evidence, that sufficient future taxable income will be available under the head ‘Capital gains’ against which the loss can be set-off as per the provisions of the Act. Whether the test of virtual certainty is fulfilled or not would depend on the facts and circumstances of each case. The examples of situations in which the test of virtual certainty, supported by convincing evidence, for the purposes of the recognition of deferred tax asset in respect of loss arising under the head ‘Capital gains’is normally fulfilled, are sale of an asset giving rise to capital gain (eligible to set-off the capital loss as per the provisions of the Act) after the balance sheet date but before the financial statements are approved, and binding sale agreement which will give rise to capital gain (eligible to set-off the capital loss as per the provisions of the Act).
(c) In cases where there is a difference between the amounts of ‘loss’ recognised for accounting purposes and tax purposes because of cost indexation under the Act in respect of long- term capital assets, the deferred tax asset is recognised and carried forward (subject to the consideration of prudence) on the amount which can be carried forward and set-off in future years as per the provisions of the Act.
18. The existence of unabsorbed depreciation or carry forward of losses under tax laws is strong evidence that future taxable income may not be available. Therefore, when an enterprise has a history of recent losses, the enterprise recognises deferred tax assets only to the extent that it has timing differences the reversal of which will result in sufficient income or there is other convincing evidence that sufficient taxable income will be available against which such deferred tax assets can be realised. In such circumstances, the nature of the evidence supporting its recognition is disclosed.

Re-assessment of Unrecognised Deferred Tax Assets

19. At each balance sheet date, an enterprise re-assesses unrecognised deferred tax assets. The enterprise recognises previously unrecognised deferred tax assets to the extent that it has become reasonably certain or virtually certain, as the case may be (see paragraphs 15 to 18), that sufficient future taxable income will be available against which such deferred tax assets can be realised. For example, an improvement in trading conditions may make it reasonably certain that the enterprise will be able to generate sufficient taxable income in the future.

Measurement

20. Current tax should be measured at the amount expected to be paid to (recovered from) the taxation authorities, using the applicable tax rates and tax laws.
21. Deferred tax assets and liabilities should be measured using the tax rates and tax laws that have been enacted or substantively enacted by the balance sheet date.
Explanation:
(a) The payment of tax under section 115JB of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (hereinafter referred to as the ‘Act’) is a current tax for the period.
(b) In a period in which a company pays tax under section 115JB of the Act, the deferred tax assets and liabilities in respect of timing differences arising during the period, tax effect of which is required to be recognised under this Standard, is measured using the regular tax rates and not the tax rate under section 115JB of the Act.
(c) In case an enterprise expects that the timing differences arising in the current period would reverse in a period in which it may pay tax under section 115JB of the Act, the deferred tax assets and liabilities in respect of timing differences arising during the current period, tax effect of which is required to be recognised under AS 22, is measured using the regular tax rates and not the tax rate under section 115JB of the Act.
22. Deferred tax assets and liabilities are usually measured using the tax rates and tax laws that have been enacted. However, certain announcements of tax rates and tax laws by the government may have the substantive effect of actual enactment. In these circumstances, deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using such announced tax rate and tax laws.
23. When different tax rates apply to different levels of taxable income, deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured using average rates.
24. Deferred tax assets and liabilities should not be discounted to their present value.
25. The reliable determination of deferred tax assets and liabilities on a discounted basis requires detailed scheduling of the timing of the reversal of each timing difference. In a number of cases such scheduling is impracticable or highly complex. Therefore, it is inappropriate to require discounting of deferred tax assets and liabilities. To permit, but not to require, discounting would result in deferred tax assets and liabilities which would not be comparable between enterprises. Therefore, this Standard does not require or permit the discounting of deferred tax assets and liabilities.

Review of Deferred Tax Assets

26. The carrying amount of deferred tax assets should be reviewed at each balance sheet date. An enterprise should write-down the carrying amount of a deferred tax asset to the extent that it is no longer reasonably certain or virtually certain, as the case may be (see paragraphs 15 to 18), that sufficient future taxable income will be available against which deferred tax asset can be realised. Any such write-down may be reversed to the extent that it becomes reasonably certain or virtually certain, as the case may be (see paragraphs 15 to 18), that sufficient future taxable income will be available.

Presentation and Disclosure

27. An enterprise should offset assets and liabilities representing current tax if the enterprise:
(a) has a legally enforceable right to set off the recognised amounts; and
(b) intends to settle the asset and the liability on a net basis.
28. An enterprise will normally have a legally enforceable right to set off an asset and liability representing current tax when they relate to income taxes levied under the same governing taxation laws and the taxation laws permit the enterprise to make or receive a single net payment.
29. An enterprise should offset deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities if:
(a) the enterprise has a legally enforceable right to set off assets against liabilities representing current tax; and (b)the deferred tax assets and the deferred tax liabilities relate to taxes on income levied by the same governing taxation laws.
30. Deferred tax assets and liabilities should be distinguished from assets and liabilities representing current tax for the period. Deferred tax assets and liabilities should be disclosed under a separate heading in the balance sheet of the enterprise, separately from current assets and current liabilities.
Explanation:
Deferred tax assets (net of the deferred tax liabilities, if any, in accordance with paragraph 29) is disclosed on the face of the balance sheet separately after the head ‘Investments’and deferred tax liabilities (net of the deferred tax assets, if any, in accordance with paragraph 29) is disclosed on the face of the balance sheet separately after the head ‘Unsecured Loans.’
31. The break-up of deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities into major components of the respective balances should be disclosed in the notes to accounts.
32. The nature of the evidence supporting the recognition of deferred tax assets should be disclosed, if an enterprise has unabsorbed depreciation or carry forward of losses under tax laws.

Transitional Provisions

33. On the first occasion that the taxes on income are accounted for in accordance with this Standard the enterprise should recognise, in the financial statements, the deferred tax balance that has accumulated prior to the adoption of this Standard as deferred tax asset/liability with a corresponding credit/charge to the revenue reserves, subject to the consideration of prudence in case of deferred tax assets (see paragraphs 15-18). The amount so credited/charged to the revenue reserves should be the same as that which would have resulted if this Standard had been in effect from the beginning.
34. For the purpose of determining accumulated deferred tax in the period in which this Standard is applied for the first time, the opening balances of assets and liabilities for accounting purposes and for tax purposes are compared and the differences, if any, are determined. The tax effects of these differences, if any, should be recognised as deferred tax assets or liabilities, if these differences are timing differences. For example, in the year in which an enterprise adopts this Standard, the opening balance of a fixed asset is Rs. 100 for accounting purposes and Rs. 60 for tax purposes. The difference is because the enterprise applies written down value method of depreciation for calculating taxable income whereas for accounting purposes straight line method is used. This difference will reverse in future when depreciation for tax purposes will be lower as compared to the depreciation for accounting purposes. In the above case, assuming that enacted tax rate for the year is 40% and that there are no other timing differences, deferred tax liability of Rs. 16 [(Rs. 100 – Rs. 60) x 40%] would be recognised. Another example is an expenditure that has already been written off for accounting purposes in the year of its incurrence but is allowable for tax purposes over a period of time. In this case, the asset representing that expenditure would have a balance only for tax purposes but not for accounting purposes. The difference between balance of the asset for tax purposes and the balance (which is nil) for accounting purposes would be a timing difference which will reverse in future when this expenditure would be allowed for tax purposes. Therefore, a deferred tax asset would be recognised in respect of this difference subject to the consideration of prudence (see paragraphs 15 – 18).

Illustration I

Examples of Timing Differences
Note: This illustration does not form part of the Accounting Standard. The purpose of this illustration is to assist in clarifying the meaning of the Accounting Standard. The sections mentioned hereunder are references to sections in the Income-tax Act, 1961, as amended by the Finance Act, 2001.
1. Expenses debited in the statement of profit and loss for accounting purposes but allowed for tax purposes in subsequent years, e.g.
a) Expenditure of the nature mentioned in section 43B (e.g. taxes, duty, cess, fees, etc.) accrued in the statement of profit and loss on mercantile basis but allowed for tax purposes in subsequent years on payment basis.
b) Payments to non-residents accrued in the statement of profit and loss on mercantile basis, but disallowed for tax purposes under section 40(a)(i) and allowed for tax purposes in subsequent years when relevant tax is deducted or paid.
c) Provisions made in the statement of profit and loss in anticipation of liabilities where the relevant liabilities are allowed in subsequent years when they crystallize.
2. Expenses amortized in the books over a period of years but are allowed for tax purposes wholly in the first year (e.g. substantial advertisement expenses to introduce a product, etc. treated as deferred revenue expenditure in the books) or if amortization for tax purposes is over a longer or shorter period (e.g. preliminary expenses under section 35D, expenses incurred for amalgamation under section 35DD, prospecting expenses under section 35E).
3. Where book and tax depreciation differ. This could arise due to:
a) Differences in depreciation rates.
b) Differences in method of depreciation e.g. SLM or WDV.
c) Differences in method of calculation e.g. calculation of depreciation with reference to individual assets in the books but on block basis for tax purposes and calculation with reference to time in the books but on the basis of full or half depreciation under the block basis for tax purposes.
d) Differences in composition of actual cost of assets.
4. Where a deduction is allowed in one year for tax purposes on the basis of a deposit made under a permitted deposit scheme (e.g. tea development account scheme under section 33AB or site restoration fund scheme under section 33ABA) and expenditure out of withdrawal from such deposit is debited in the statement of profit and loss in subsequent years.
5. Income credited to the statement of profit and loss but taxed only in subsequent years e.g. conversion of capital assets into stock in trade.
6. If for any reason the recognition of income is spread over a number of years in the accounts but the income is fully taxed in the year of receipt.

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