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Deferred tax – A Chief Financial Officer's guide to avoiding the pitfalls
Understanding deferred tax under IAS 12 Income Taxes
November 2009

© 2009 Grant Thornton International Ltd. All rights reserved.

Deferred tax – A Chief Financial Officer's guide to avoiding the pitfalls

1

Introduction

Preparation of financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards(IFRS) requires the application of IAS 12 Income Taxes (IAS 12). Income taxes, as defined in IAS 12, include current tax and deferred tax. For many finance executives the concepts underlying deferred tax are not intuitive. Applying these concepts also requires a thorough knowledge of the relevant tax laws. IAS 12 takes a mechanistic approach to the computation but also requires significant judgementin some areas. For all these reasons, many Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) find that the calculation of a deferred tax provision causes significant practical difficulties. Fortunately, the member firms within Grant Thornton International Ltd (Grant Thornton International) - one of the world's leading organisations of independently owned and managed accounting and consulting firms - have gainedextensive insights into the more problematic aspects of accounting for deferred taxes under IAS 12. Grant Thornton International, through its IFRS team, develops general guidance that supports its member firms' commitment to high quality, consistent application of IFRS. We are pleased to share these insights by publishing Deferred tax - A Chief Financial Officer's guide to avoiding the pitfalls. Theguide reflects the collective experience of Grant Thornton International's IFRS team and member firm IFRS experts. It addresses IAS 12's key application issues related to deferred taxes and includes interpretational guidance in certain problematic areas.
Who should read this guide

Deferred tax

This guide is intended for CFOs of businesses that prepare financial statements under IFRS. Itillustrates IAS 12's approach to the calculation of deferred tax balances but is not intended to explain every aspect of the standard in detail. Rather, it summarises the approach to calculating the deferred tax provision in order to help CFOs to prioritise and identify key issues. The sections on avoiding the pitfalls will assist in understanding potential problem areas in order to know when toconsult further.

Grant Thornton International Ltd November 2009

© 2009 Grant Thornton International Ltd. All rights reserved.

Deferred tax – A Chief Financial Officer's guide to avoiding the pitfalls

2

Table of contents

Overview of the Guide Section 1 Section 2 Section 3 Section 4 Section 5 Section 6 Section 7 Section 8 Calculating a deferred tax provision – the basics Allocatingthe deferred tax charge or credit Disclosures Avoiding pitfalls – the manner of recovery and the blended rate

3 6 16 24 30

Avoiding pitfalls – business combinations and consolidated accounts 36 Avoiding pitfalls – share-based payments Avoiding pitfalls – recognition of deferred tax assets Avoiding pitfalls – other issues 42 46 51

Appendix A:

Glossary

© 2009 Grant ThorntonInternational Ltd. All rights reserved.

Deferred tax – A Chief Financial Officer's guide to avoiding the pitfalls

3

Overview of the Guide

This document summarises the approach to calculating a deferred tax provision, allocating the deferred tax charge or credit to the various components of the financial statements and sets out disclosure requirements and provides examples of the disclosuresrequired by the standard. This document also contains sections which cover some of the more complex areas of preparation of a deferred tax computation, for example the calculation of deferred tax in business combinations. The sections of the guide are as follows:
Section 1: Calculating a deferred tax provision – the basics

IAS 12 requires a mechanistic approach to the calculation of deferred...
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