Income Tax (IAS12)
Is IAS12 too difficult to apply and understand?
International Accounting Standards 12 continues to receive numerous criticisms on applicability and usefulness of numbers in accounting for corporate income taxes. The argument presented is that the standards set by IAS 12 are too hard to apply or even understand. In the plight of these criticisms, two accounting standards boards, UK’s (ASB) and Germany’s (GASB) opted to conduct a proactive project plan aimed at fundamentally reviewing the standards set by IAS 12 prove hard to solve through piecemeal amendment. Their main agenda was to look at critical issues of accounting for corporate income in an attempt to develop a discussion paper on the principles of IAS 12 and set out proposals. IAS 12 prohibits companies to give an account to deferred taxes by using the deferral method based on the income statement. It instead prefers the passive methodology based on the balance sheet. In addition to the above requirement, the standard requires corporations to acknowledge either a deferral tax liability. Thirdly, IAS 12 requires recognition of deferred tax assets when it is certain that a corporation possess revenues in future to realize deferred tax asset. For instance, given that a company has a history of losses it will recognize deferred tax assets to the extent that taxable temporary expenses in amounts are sufficient. “Fourthly, IAS 12 does not allow asset credit and delayed tax liabilities brought about by types of material goods and liabilities whose books vary in amounts at the moment of acknowledgment” (IAS - 12). The other requirement is that IAS 12 prohibits recognition of deferred tax liabilities, and those liabilities encountered or arising from adjustments for conversion so long as it satisfies two conditions: * The main investor is capable of controlling the timing of reversal’s temporary difference. * It is certain that impermanent variation may become irreversible in the near future. Therefore, it is a requirement of the company to disclose information concerning cumulative amount of temporary variation involved. Further, IAS 12 recommends explicitly to adjustments to a fair value of assets and liabilities arising from a dual business combination. It however prohibits recognition of deferred tax liabilities because of initial recognition of good will. During revaluation of assets, IAS 12 allows and requires a corporation to recognize deferred tax liabilities in case revaluation of asset takes place. Moreover, IAS 12 requires that valuation of assets and deferred tax liabilities based on tax consequences that may arise in a manner that a company expects to recover the amount. “The standard also prohibits the deduction of deferred tax assets and liabilities to account for its current value” (Kirk, 2005). The IAS 12 further prohibits companies from making distinctions between the current and non-current assets and liabilities in its financial reports. It also provides restrictive conditions on debit and credit balances that represent deferred tax assets that could be compensated. This requirement is based on the requirements as stipulated by the financial assets and liabilities IAS 32, financial instruments disclosure and presentation. It is worth noting that among the new information IAS 12 requires disclosure include: * That for every class of impermanent disparity;
* The amounts of assets and tax liabilities recognized and the amount of expenses or income labeled in the income statement with respect to discontinued operations, the realization of deferred tax asset depends on future prospects over the profits coming from reversals of existing impermanent parities. There has been a rise in criticism on financial reporting for income taxes from users and preparers. The criticism is based on the implication of the current and future effects it will have on cash flows. In their arguments, the...