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

Yu-Ming Lo Yu-Ming Lo

Preparation of financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) requires the application of IAS 12 Income Taxes (IAS 12). IAS 12 is not new. However, for many finance executives, the concepts underlying the computation of deferred tax are not intuitive. IAS 12 takes a mechanistic approach to the computation but also requires significant judgement in some areas. Also, applying the concepts of IAS 12 requires a thorough knowledge of the relevant tax laws. For all these reasons, many Chief Financial Officers (CFOs) find the calculation of a deferred tax provision causes significant practical difficulties.

 The guide is intended for CFOs of businesses that prepare financial statements under IFRS. It illustrates 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 prioritise and identify key issues. To assist CFOs with these application issues, the guide also includes interpretational guidance in certain problematic areas of the deferred tax calculation.


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