FRS 102 & Tax Implications
Irish and UK generally accepted accounting practice or GAAP was completely overhauled in 2012-13 when three new financial reporting standards were published to replace a reporting regime that had been pieced together over many decades. The three new standards were FRS 100: Application of Financial Reporting Requirements, FRS 101: Reduced Disclosures Framework and FRS 102: The Financial Reporting Standard Applicable in the UK and Republic of Ireland. The new Irish and UK GAAP became effective for accounting periods commencing on or after 1st January 2015. It will affect most non listed companies.
This article will focus on the tax accounting requirements of FRS 102.
First the good news- what has not drastically changed as a result of FRS 102?
The majority of the tax accounting requirements of FRS 102 are comparable to the old Irish and UK reporting standards FRS 16: Current Tax and FRS 19: Deferred Tax.
Current tax is still the Corporation Tax payable to the Revenue Commissioners or HMRC. Similarly, current and deferred tax (see below) should be computed in accordance with the substantially enacted tax rate that prevails in legislation at the relevant reporting date.
The timing difference approach largely remains. However, FRS 102 has introduced some additional requirements. This approach is based on the inherent differences between the accounting profit or loss in the financial statements and the subsequent calculation of taxable profit or loss for the purpose of a Corporation Tax return. Therefore, timing differences can arise in one accounting period but can be taxable or deductible in another period.
The recognition criteria for deferred tax assets in accordance with FRS 102 are also similar to FRS 19. Both standards approach recognition of same from the point of view of the “probability” of future taxable profits against which deferred tax assets may be offset. “Probable” is defined as “more likely than not”.
Finally, deferred tax assets and liabilities can be still be offset provided that that they arise in the same taxable entity and as a result of being levied by the same tax authority.
What major changes in tax accounting have occurred as a result of FRS 102?
We mentioned above that the recognition criteria for deferred tax assets largely remain unaltered but FRS 102 has introduced a number of additional requirements. FRS 102 has introduced the timing difference ‘plus’ approach in respect of deferred tax calculations. This requires that deferred tax is calculated for three additional types of transaction. Deferred tax should be calculated;
- For any revaluation gains or losses on non-monetary assets like property, plant and equipment (PPE) and investment properties.
- On the differences between the fair value of the assets acquired in a business combination (for example, where one company purchases another) and the values subsequently recognised for tax purposes.
- On accumulated profits sitting in overseas subsidiaries or associates that have yet to be remitted to the parent company by way of a dividend. However, where the parent has the capacity to control the dividend payment capacity of a subsidiary deferred tax should not be recognised.
Changes in respect of the useful economic lives (UEL) of intangible assets and goodwill have been among the most noteworthy in the transition to the new GAAP. The old FRS 10, “Goodwill and Intangible Assets” permitted indefinite UELs for intangibles and goodwill. FRS 102 prohibits indefinite UELs and where an entity cannot make a reliable estimate of UEL, these assets must be written off to the profit or loss account or amortised over a period that cannot exceed five years (or ten years for periods commencing on or after 1st January 2016).
Consequently, intangibles and goodwill must be amortised. Tax deductions are generally not available for goodwill and intangible assets and this should be borne in mind during the transition to the new GAAP as previously unamortised intangibles and goodwill are written off to the profit and loss account.
However, tax deductions are available in respect of capital expenditure on certain intellectual property intangible assets and their associated goodwill. Tax deductions are available in line with the amortisation of such assets in the financial statements or over fifteen years provided an election is made in the period in which the capital expenditure is incurred.
FRS 19 permitted the discounting of deferred tax balances to take into account the time value of money. FRS 102 prohibits the discounting of any deferred tax balances.
The old FRS 17 standard “Retirement Benefit Schemes” required that the associated deferred tax be presented in the balance sheet with the relevant pension asset or liability. Timing differences arise in this area because tax deductions that are available for pensions are based on cash payments rather than amounts charged to the profit or loss account. However, there is no such requirement in FRS 102. Therefore, deferred tax that arises as a result of these timing differences should be included in the overall deferred tax figures.
Disclosure requirements of FRS 102
Finally, the major tax accounting disclosures required by FRS 102 are:
- The old FRS 19 required a reconciliation of pre-tax profit or loss for the year as per the financial statements multiplied by the statutory tax rate to the current tax expense. FRS 102 requires a reconciliation to the total tax expense, including deferred taxation and taxation payable in another jurisdiction, from an entity’s continuing operations.
- Deferred tax liabilities are presented in the balance sheet within provisions, and deferred tax assets are presented in debtors. FRS 19 required similar presentation.
- The total current and deferred tax relating to items that are recognised as items of other comprehensive income or equity.
- An explanation of changes in the applicable tax rate(s) in comparison to the previous reporting period and any adjustments to deferred tax because of changes in accounting policies or material errors.
- FRS 102 requires disclosure of estimates relating to the amount of net reversals of deferred tax assets and liabilities expected to occur during the following accounting period.
At UHY FDW our dedicated tax team aims to minimise your tax exposures and deliver the best advice for your situation. Contact Us now for any questions you have relating to FRS 102 and the changes in Irish and UK GAAP.