CBDT HAS ISSUED DISCUSSION PAPER ON ACCOUNTING STANDARD

Central board of direct taxes has issued discussion paper on accounting standard for the option and reviews by the stake holders. However it...

Central board of direct taxes has issued discussion paper on accounting standard for the option and reviews by the stake holders. However it is accepted by the finance minister Mr. Pranab Mukharjee. Full issue of Discussion paper is as under.

DISCUSSION PAPER
ON
TAX ACCOUNTING 
STANDARDS
OCTOBER 2011
Government of India
Ministry of Finance
Department of Revenue
Central Board of Direct Taxes- 1 -
1. Background
1.1 Section 145 of  the Income-tax Act, 1961 („the Act‟) provides that  the method 
of accounting for  computation  of income under the head “Profits and gains of 
business or  profession” and  “Income from other sources” can either be  the  cash or 
mercantile system of accounting.  The Finance Act, 1995 empowered the Central 
Government to notify Accounting Standards for any class of assessees or for any class 
of income.  Explaining the reason for introduction of this provision, it was stated that 
there is flexibility in the standards issued by the Institute of Chartered Accountants of 
India (ICAI) which makes it possible for an assessee to avoid the payment of correct 
taxes by following a particular system and therefore, there is an urgent need to 
standardize one or more of the alternatives in various standards so that income for tax 
purpose can be computed precisely and objectively.

1.2 Since the introduction of these provisions, two Accounting Standards relating 
to disclosure of accounting policies and disclosure of prior  period and extraordinary 
items and changes in accounting policies have been notified.   In July 2002,  the 
Central Government had constituted  a committee on formulation of Accounting 
Standards under the Act [„the Committee (2002)‟].

1.3 The Committee (2002) submitted its final report in November 2003  which 
contained the following main recommendations:
(i) It would be impractical for a tax payer to maintain two sets of books of 
account  – one in accordance with the  Accounting Standards issued by  the 
ICAI and another set in accordance with  the  Accounting Standards to be 
notified under the Act.  The Committee (2002), therefore, recommended that 
the Accounting Standards issued by the ICAI should be notified under the Act 
without any modifications.

(ii) Appropriate legislative amendments should be made to the Act to prevent any 
scope for leakage of revenue on account of  notification of Accounting 
Standards issued by the ICAI.- 2 -

1.4 The recommendations of the Committee (2002) could not be implemented 
because of the following:-

(i) The implementation of the recommendation of  the Committee (2002) would 
have required extensive amendment to the Act resulting in  complexity and 
litigation, and would have negated the concept of notification of accounting 
standards under the Act to provide certainty.

(ii) As the Accounting Standards issued by ICAI keep on evolving /changing by 
way of issue of new standards, interpretation and revision, it would have been 
cumbersome for the Ministry of Finance to keep track of all changes in the 
Accounting standards issued by the ICAI and to move simultaneous 
amendments to the Act.

1.5 There  have been significant developments since the Committee (2002) 
submitted its report, notable among them are:
(i) The Government of India, through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA),
has notified twenty eight Accounting Standards issued by the ICAI, under the 
Companies Act, 1956.

(ii) The Government of India has decided to converge Indian Accounting 
Standards with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). In 
February, 2011, the MCA, being the nodal agency for this convergence, has 
placed thirty five Indian Accounting Standards converged with International 
Financial Reporting Standards (termed as IND AS) on its website.

(iii) In the absence of  notification of  Accounting Standards under the  Act, 
uncertainty and litigation continues on various accounting related issues such 
as accounting for construction contracts, foreign exchange fluctuations and 
government grants.- 3 -

2. New Accounting Standards Committee
2.1 The  Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) constituted  a new Accounting 
Standard Committee („the Committee‟)  comprising of departmental officers and 
professionals vide Order No. 134/48/2010-SO (TPL) dated 20
th
December 2010.  The 
terms of reference of this Committee are as under:

i) to study the harmonization of Accounting Standards issued by the ICAI 
with the direct tax laws in India, and suggest Accounting Standards 
which need to be adopted  under  section 145(2) of the Act along with 
the relevant modifications;

ii) to suggest method for determination of tax base (book profit) for the 
purpose of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT) in case of companies 
migrating to  IFRS  (IND  AS)  in the initial year of adoption and 
thereafter; and

iii) to suggest appropriate amendments to the Act in view of transition to 
IFRS (IND AS) regime.

3. Main recommendations of the Committee
3.1 The Committee submitted its Interim Report in August 2011.  The main 
recommendations of the Committee with regard to the first term of reference are as 
under.

3.2 Since the Accounting Standards to be notified under section 145(2) of the Act 
would need to be in harmony with the provisions of the Act,  the Accounting 
Standards issued by the ICAI cannot be notified without modification.  The notified 
Accounting Standards should provide specific rules, which would enable computation 
of income with certainty and clarity.  To ensure horizontal equity and uniformity, the 
notified Accounting Standards would  also  need elimination of alternatives, to the - 4 -
extent possible.  Accordingly, separate Accounting Standards should be notified under 
Section 145(2) of the Act.

3.3 It would be burdensome for affected tax payers to maintain two sets of books 
of account i.e. one in accordance with the Accounting Standards issued by the 
ICAI/notified under the Companies Act, 1956; and another in accordance with the 
Accounting Standards notified under the Act.  Accordingly, the Accounting 
Standards notified under the Act should be made applicable only to the computation 
of taxable income and a taxpayer should not be required to maintain books of account 
on the basis of Accounting Standards notified under the Act.

3.4 Two different sets of Accounting Standards may cause confusion for taxpayers 
and other stakeholders.  Accordingly, the Accounting Standards notified under the 
Act should be termed as “Tax Accounting Standards” (TAS) to distinguish them from 
the Accounting Standards issued by the ICAI/notified under the Companies Act, 
1956.

3.5 Since  the TAS  are based on the mercantile  system of accounting,  the TAS 
should be applicable to all tax payers who follow the mercantile system of accounting, 
and should not be applicable to those taxpayers who follow the cash basis of 
accounting.

3.6 As the TAS are intended to be in harmony with the provisions of the Act, it 
should be expressly provided in the TAS, that in case of conflict, the provisions of the 
Act shall prevail over the TAS.

3.7 Currently, the starting point for  computation of income under the head 
“Profits and gains of business or profession” and “Income from other sources” is the 
income as per the  financial statements.  Since the provisions of the TAS may not be 
the same as the corresponding provisions used for preparation of the financial 
statements,  a reconciliation between the income  as  per the financial statements and 
the income as computed per the TAS should be presented.  - 5
-
4. Draft TAS
4.1 Draft of the TAS on Construction Contracts and Government Grants, 
recommended by the Committee, are annexed hereto. Draft of other TAS will be 
issued for comments/suggestions by all stakeholders in due course.

4.2 Comments/suggestions are invited on the recommendations of the Committee 
and draft of the TAS annexed hereto. The comments/suggestions may be e-mailed at 
dirtpl3@nic.in by 11
th
November, 2011

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Taxalertindia: CBDT HAS ISSUED DISCUSSION PAPER ON ACCOUNTING STANDARD
CBDT HAS ISSUED DISCUSSION PAPER ON ACCOUNTING STANDARD
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