Accounting for Income Taxes (Issued 2/92)
This Statement establishes financial accounting and reporting standards for the effects of income taxes that result from an enterprise's activities during the current and preceding years. It requires an asset and liability approach for financial accounting and reporting for income taxes. This Statement supersedes FASB Statement No. 96, Accounting for Income Taxes, and amends or supersedes other accounting pronouncements listed in Appendix D.
Objectives of Accounting for Income Taxes
The objectives of accounting for income taxes are to recognize (a) the amount of taxes payable or refundable for the current year and (b) deferred tax liabilities and assets for the future tax consequences of events that have been recognized in an enterprise's financial statements or tax returns.
Basic Principles of Accounting for Income Taxes
The following basic principles are applied in accounting for income taxes at the date of the financial statements:
- A current tax liability or asset is recognized for the estimated taxes payable or refundable on tax returns for the current year.
- A deferred tax liability or asset is recognized for the estimated future tax effects attributable to temporary differences and carryforwards.
- The measurement of current and deferred tax liabilities and assets is based on provisions of the enacted tax law; the effects of future changes in tax laws or rates are not anticipated.
- The measurement of deferred tax assets is reduced, if necessary, by the amount of any tax benefits that, based on available evidence, are not expected to be realized.
The tax consequences of most events recognized in the financial statements for a year are included in determining income taxes currently payable. However, tax laws often differ from the recognition and measurement requirements of financial accounting standards, and differences can arise between (a) the amount of taxable income and pretax financial income for a year and (b) the tax bases of assets or liabilities and their reported amounts in financial statements.
APB Opinion No. 11, Accounting for Income Taxes, used the term timing differences for differences between the years in which transactions affect taxable income and the years in which they enter into the determination of pretax financial income. Timing differences create differences (sometimes accumulating over more than one year) between the tax basis of an asset or liability and its reported amount in financial statements. Other events such as business combinations may also create differences between the tax basis of an asset or liability and its reported amount in financial statements. All such differences collectively are referred to as temporary differences in this Statement.
Deferred Tax Consequences of Temporary Differences
Temporary differences ordinarily become taxable or deductible when the related asset is recovered or the related liability is settled. A deferred tax liability or asset represents the increase or decrease in taxes payable or refundable in future years as a result of temporary differences and carryforwards at the end of the current year.
Deferred Tax Liabilities
A deferred tax liability is recognized for temporary differences that will result in taxable amounts in future years. For example, a temporary difference is created between the reported amount and the tax basis of an installment sale receivable if, for tax purposes, some or all of the gain on the installment sale will be included in the determination of taxable income in future years. Because amounts received upon recovery of that receivable will be taxable, a deferred tax liability is recognized in the current year for the related taxes payable in future years.
Deferred Tax Assets
A deferred tax asset is recognized for temporary differences that will result in deductible amounts in future years and for carryforwards. For example, a temporary difference is created between the reported amount and the tax basis of a liability for estimated expenses if, for tax purposes, those estimated expenses are not deductible until a future year. Settlement of that liability will result in tax deductions in future years, and a deferred tax asset is recognized in the current year for the reduction in taxes payable in future years. A valuation allowance is recognized if, based on the weight of available evidence, it is more likely than not that some portion or all of the deferred tax asset will not be realized.
Measurement of a Deferred Tax Liability or Asset
This Statement establishes procedures to (a) measure deferred tax liabilities and assets using a tax rate convention and (b) assess whether a valuation allowance should be established for deferred tax assets. Enacted tax laws and rates are considered in determining the applicable tax rate and in assessing the need for a valuation allowance.
All available evidence, both positive and negative, is considered to determine whether, based on the weight of that evidence, a valuation allowance is needed for some portion or all of a deferred tax asset. Judgment must be used in considering the relative impact of negative and positive evidence. The weight given to the potential effect of negative and positive evidence should be commensurate with the extent to which it can be objectively verified. The more negative evidence that exists (a) the more positive evidence is necessary and (b) the more difficult it is to support a conclusion that a valuation allowance is not needed.
Changes in Tax Laws or Rates
This Statement requires that deferred tax liabilities and assets be adjusted in the period of enactment for the effect of an enacted change in tax laws or rates. The effect is included in income from continuing operations.
This Statement is effective for fiscal years beginning after December 15, 1992. Earlier application is encouraged.