IFRIC 23 Uncertainty Over Income Tax Treatments – FAQ | IFRS

IFRIC 23 Uncertainty over Income Tax Treatments

References

Background

1 IAS 12 Income Taxes specifies requirements for current and deferred tax assets and liabilities. An entity applies the requirements in IAS 12 based on applicable tax laws.

2 It may be unclear how tax law applies to a particular transaction or circumstance. The acceptability of a particular tax treatment under tax law may not be known until the relevant taxation authority or a court takes a decision in the future. Consequently, a dispute or examination of a particular tax treatment by the taxation authority may affect an entity’s accounting for a current or deferred tax asset or liability.

3 In this Interpretation:

  1. ‘tax treatments’ refers to the treatments used by an entity or that it plans to use in its income tax filings.
  2. ‘taxation authority’ refers to the body or bodies that decide whether tax treatments are acceptable under tax law. This might include a court.
  3. an ‘uncertain tax treatment’ is a tax treatment for which there is uncertainty over whether the relevant taxation authority will accept the tax treatment under tax law. For example, an entity’s decision not to submit any income tax filing in a tax jurisdiction, or not to include particular income in taxable profit, is an uncertain tax treatment if its acceptability is uncertain under tax law.

Scope

4 This Interpretation clarifies how to apply the recognition and measurement requirements in IAS 12 when there is uncertainty over income tax treatments. In such a circumstance, an entity shall recognise and measure its current or deferred tax asset or liability applying the requirements in IAS 12 based on taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates determined applying this Interpretation.

Issues

5 When there is uncertainty over income tax treatments, this Interpretation addresses:

  1. whether an entity considers uncertain tax treatments separately;
  2. the assumptions an entity makes about the examination of tax treatments by taxation authorities;
  3. how an entity determines taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates; and
  4. how an entity considers changes in facts and circumstances.

Consensus

Whether an entity considers uncertain tax treatments separately

6 An entity shall determine whether to consider each uncertain tax treatment separately or together with one or more other uncertain tax treatments based on which approach better predicts the resolution of the uncertainty. In determining the approach that better predicts the resolution of the uncertainty, an entity might consider, for example, (a) how it prepares its income tax filings and supports tax treatments; or (b) how the entity expects the taxation authority to make its examination and resolve issues that might arise from that examination.

7 If, applying paragraph 6, an entity considers more than one uncertain tax treatment together, the entity shall read references to an ‘uncertain tax treatment’ in this Interpretation as referring to the group of uncertain tax treatments considered together.

Examination by taxation authorities

8 In assessing whether and how an uncertain tax treatment affects the determination of taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates, an entity shall assume that a taxation authority will examine amounts it has a right to examine and have full knowledge of all related information when making those examinations.

Determination of taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates

9 An entity shall consider whether it is probable that a taxation authority will accept an uncertain tax treatment.

10 If an entity concludes it is probable that the taxation authority will accept an uncertain tax treatment, the entity shall determine the taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits or tax rates consistently with the tax treatment used or planned to be used in its income tax filings.

11 If an entity concludes it is not probable that the taxation authority will accept an uncertain tax treatment, the entity shall reflect the effect of uncertainty in determining the related taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits or tax rates. An entity shall reflect the effect of uncertainty for each uncertain tax treatment by using either of the following methods, depending on which method the entity expects to better predict the resolution of the uncertainty:

  1. the most likely amount—the single most likely amount in a range of possible outcomes. The most likely amount may better predict the resolution of the uncertainty if the possible outcomes are binary or are concentrated on one value.
  2. the expected value—the sum of the probability-weighted amounts in a range of possible outcomes. The expected value may better predict the resolution of the uncertainty if there is a range of possible outcomes that are neither binary nor concentrated on one value.

12 If an uncertain tax treatment affects current tax and deferred tax (for example, if it affects both taxable profit used to determine current tax and tax bases used to determine deferred tax), an entity shall make consistent judgements and estimates for both current tax and deferred tax.

Changes in facts and circumstances

13 An entity shall reassess a judgement or estimate required by this Interpretation if the facts and circumstances on which the judgement or estimate was based change or as a result of new information that affects the judgement or estimate. For example, a change in facts and circumstances might change an entity’s conclusions about the acceptability of a tax treatment or the entity’s estimate of the effect of uncertainty, or both. Paragraphs A1–A3 set out guidance on changes in facts and circumstances.

14 An entity shall reflect the effect of a change in facts and circumstances or of new information as a change in accounting estimate applying IAS 8 Accounting Policies, Changes in Accounting Estimates and Errors. An entity shall apply IAS 10 Events after the Reporting Period to determine whether a change that occurs after the reporting period is an adjusting or non-adjusting event.

Appendix A Application Guidance


This appendix is an integral part of IFRIC 23 and has the same authority as the other parts of IFRIC 23.

Changes in facts and circumstances (paragraph 13)

A1 In applying paragraph 13 of this Interpretation, an entity shall assess the relevance and effect of a change in facts and circumstances or of new information in the context of applicable tax laws. For example, a particular event might result in the reassessment of a judgement or estimate made for one tax treatment but not another, if those tax treatments are subject to different tax laws.

A2 Examples of changes in facts and circumstances or new information that, depending on the circumstances, can result in the reassessment of a judgement or estimate required by this Interpretation include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. examinations or actions by a taxation authority. For example:
    1. agreement or disagreement by the taxation authority with the tax treatment or a similar tax treatment used by the entity;
    2. information that the taxation authority has agreed or disagreed with a similar tax treatment used by another entity; and
    3. information about the amount received or paid to settle a similar tax treatment.
  2. changes in rules established by a taxation authority.
  3. the expiry of a taxation authority’s right to examine or re-examine a tax treatment.

A3 The absence of agreement or disagreement by a taxation authority with a tax treatment, in isolation, is unlikely to constitute a change in facts and circumstances or new information that affects the judgements and estimates required by this Interpretation.

Disclosure

A4 When there is uncertainty over income tax treatments, an entity shall determine whether to disclose:

  1. judgements made in determining taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates applying paragraph 122 of IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements; and
  2. information about the assumptions and estimates made in determining taxable profit (tax loss), tax bases, unused tax losses, unused tax credits and tax rates applying paragraphs 125–129 of IAS 1.

A5 If an entity concludes it is probable that a taxation authority will accept an uncertain tax treatment, the entity shall determine whether to disclose the potential effect of the uncertainty as a tax-related contingency applying paragraph 88 of IAS 12.