Recognition of current and deferred tax
Accounting for the current and deferred tax effects of a transaction or other event is consistent with the accounting for the transaction or event itself. Paragraphs 58 to 68C implement this principle.
An entity shall recognise the income tax consequences of dividends as defined in AASB 9 when it recognises a liability to pay a dividend. The income tax consequences of dividends are linked more directly to past transactions or events that generated distributable profits than to distributions to owners. Therefore, an entity shall recognise the income tax consequences of dividends in profit or loss, other comprehensive income or equity according to where the entity originally recognised those past transactions or events.
Items recognised in profit or loss
Current and deferred tax shall be recognised as income or an expense and included in profit or loss for the period, except to the extent that the tax arises from:
(a) a transaction or event which is recognised, in the same or a different period, outside profit or loss, either in other comprehensive income or directly in equity (see paragraphs 61A–65); or
(b) a business combination (other than the acquisition by an investment entity, as defined in AASB 10 Consolidated Financial Statements, of a subsidiary that is required to be measured at fair value through profit or loss) (see paragraphs 66–68).
Most deferred tax liabilities and deferred tax assets arise where income or expense is included in accounting profit in one period, but is included in taxable profit (tax loss) in a different period. The resulting deferred tax is recognised in profit or loss. Examples are when:
(a) interest, royalty or dividend revenue is received in arrears and is included in accounting profit in accordance with AASB 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers, AASB 139 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement or AASB 9 Financial Instruments, as relevant, but is included in taxable profit (tax loss) on a cash basis; and
(b) costs of intangible assets have been capitalised in accordance with AASB 138 and are being amortised in profit or loss, but were deducted for tax purposes when they were incurred.
The carrying amount of deferred tax assets and liabilities may change even though there is no change in the amount of the related temporary differences. This can result, for example, from:
(a) a change in tax rates or tax laws;
(b) a reassessment of the recoverability of deferred tax assets; or
(c) a change in the expected manner of recovery of an asset.
The resulting deferred tax is recognised in profit or loss, except to the extent that it relates to items previously recognised outside profit or loss (see paragraph 63).
Items recognised outside profit or loss
Current tax and deferred tax shall be recognised outside profit or loss if the tax relates to items that are recognised, in the same or a different period, outside profit or loss. Therefore, current tax and deferred tax that relates to items that are recognised, in the same or a different period:
(a) in other comprehensive income, shall be recognised in other comprehensive income (see paragraph 62).
(b) directly in equity, shall be recognised directly in equity (see paragraph 62A).
Australian Accounting Standards require or permit particular items to be recognised in other comprehensive income. Examples of such items are:
(a) a change in carrying amount arising from the revaluation of property, plant and equipment (see AASB 116); and
(c) exchange differences arising on the translation of the financial statements of a foreign operation (see AASB 121).
Australian Accounting Standards require or permit particular items to be credited or charged directly to equity. Examples of such items are:
(a) an adjustment to the opening balance of retained earnings resulting from either a change in accounting policy that is applied retrospectively or the correction of an error (see AASB 108 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors); and
(b) amounts arising on initial recognition of the equity component of a compound financial instrument (see paragraph 23).
In exceptional circumstances it may be difficult to determine the amount of current and deferred tax that relates to items recognised outside profit or loss (either in other comprehensive income or directly in equity). This may be the case, for example, when:
(a) there are graduated rates of income tax and it is impossible to determine the rate at which a specific component of taxable profit (tax loss) has been taxed;
(b) a change in the tax rate or other tax rules affects a deferred tax asset or liability relating (in whole or in part) to an item that was previously recognised outside profit or loss; or
(c) an entity determines that a deferred tax asset should be recognised, or should no longer be recognised in full, and the deferred tax asset relates (in whole or in part) to an item that was previously recognised outside profit or loss.
In such cases, the current and deferred tax related to items that are recognised outside profit or loss are based on a reasonable pro rata allocation of the current and deferred tax of the entity in the tax jurisdiction concerned, or other method that achieves a more appropriate allocation in the circumstances.
AASB 116 does not specify whether an entity should transfer each year from revaluation surplus to retained earnings an amount equal to the difference between the depreciation or amortisation on a revalued asset and the depreciation or amortisation based on the cost of that asset. If an entity makes such a transfer, the amount transferred is net of any related deferred tax. Similar considerations apply to transfers made on disposal of an item of property, plant or equipment.
When an asset is revalued for tax purposes and that revaluation is related to an accounting revaluation of an earlier period, or to one that is expected to be carried out in a future period, the tax effects of both the asset revaluation and the adjustment of the tax base are recognised in other comprehensive income in the periods in which they occur. However, if the revaluation for tax purposes is not related to an accounting revaluation of an earlier period, or to one that is expected to be carried out in a future period, the tax effects of the adjustment of the tax base are recognised in profit or loss.
When an entity pays dividends to its shareholders, it may be required to pay a portion of the dividends to taxation authorities on behalf of shareholders. In many jurisdictions, this amount is referred to as a withholding tax. Such an amount paid or payable to taxation authorities is charged to equity as a part of the dividends.
Deferred tax arising from a business combination
As explained in paragraphs 19 and 26(c), temporary differences may arise in a business combination. In accordance with AASB 3, an entity recognises any resulting deferred tax assets (to the extent that they meet the recognition criteria in paragraph 24) or deferred tax liabilities as identifiable assets and liabilities at the acquisition date. Consequently, those deferred tax assets and deferred tax liabilities affect the amount of goodwill or the bargain purchase gain the entity recognises. However, in accordance with paragraph 15(a), an entity does not recognise deferred tax liabilities arising from the initial recognition of goodwill.
As a result of a business combination, the probability of realising a pre-acquisition deferred tax asset of the acquirer could change. An acquirer may consider it probable that it will recover its own deferred tax asset that was not recognised before the business combination. For example, the acquirer may be able to utilise the benefit of its unused tax losses against the future taxable profit of the acquiree. Alternatively, as a result of the business combination it might no longer be probable that future taxable profit will allow the deferred tax asset to be recovered. In such cases, the acquirer recognises a change in the deferred tax asset in the period of the business combination, but does not include it as part of the accounting for the business combination. Therefore, the acquirer does not take it into account in measuring the goodwill or bargain purchase gain it recognises in the business combination.
The potential benefit of the acquiree’s income tax loss carryforwards or other deferred tax assets might not satisfy the criteria for separate recognition when a business combination is initially accounted for but might be realised subsequently. An entity shall recognise acquired deferred tax benefits that it realises after the business combination as follows:
(a) Acquired deferred tax benefits recognised within the measurement period that result from new information about facts and circumstances that existed at the acquisition date shall be applied to reduce the carrying amount of any goodwill related to that acquisition. If the carrying amount of that goodwill is zero, any remaining deferred tax benefits shall be recognised in profit or loss.
(b) All other acquired deferred tax benefits realised shall be recognised in profit or loss (or, if this Standard so requires, outside profit or loss).
Current and deferred tax arising from share-based payment transactions
In some tax jurisdictions, an entity receives a tax deduction (ie an amount that is deductible in determining taxable profit) that relates to remuneration paid in shares, share options or other equity instruments of the entity. The amount of that tax deduction may differ from the related cumulative remuneration expense, and may arise in a later accounting period. For example, in some jurisdictions, an entity may recognise an expense for the consumption of employee services received as consideration for share options granted, in accordance with AASB 2 Share-based Payment, and not receive a tax deduction until the share options are exercised, with the measurement of the tax deduction based on the entity’s share price at the date of exercise.
As with the research costs discussed in paragraphs 9 and 26(b) of this Standard, the difference between the tax base of the employee services received to date (being the amount the taxation authorities will permit as a deduction in future periods), and the carrying amount of nil, is a deductible temporary difference that results in a deferred tax asset. If the amount the taxation authorities will permit as a deduction in future periods is not known at the end of the period, it shall be estimated, based on information available at the end of the period. For example, if the amount that the taxation authorities will permit as a deduction in future periods is dependent upon the entity’s share price at a future date, the measurement of the deductible temporary difference should be based on the entity’s share price at the end of the period.
As noted in paragraph 68A, the amount of the tax deduction (or estimated future tax deduction, measured in accordance with paragraph 68B) may differ from the related cumulative remuneration expense. Paragraph 58 of the Standard requires that current and deferred tax should be recognised as income or an expense and included in profit or loss for the period, except to the extent that the tax arises from (a) a transaction or event that is recognised, in the same or a different period, outside profit or loss, or (b) a business combination (other than the acquisition by an investment entity of a subsidiary that is required to be measured at fair value through profit or loss). If the amount of the tax deduction (or estimated future tax deduction) exceeds the amount of the related cumulative remuneration expense, this indicates that the tax deduction relates not only to remuneration expense but also to an equity item. In this situation, the excess of the associated current or deferred tax should be recognised directly in equity.