Mr Frank Palmer - Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants

Our Ref.: C/FRSC
Sent electronically through the IASB Website (www.ifrs.org)
18 December 2014
International Accounting Standards Board
30 Cannon Street
London EC4M 6XH
United Kingdom
Dear Sirs,
IASB Exposure Draft of Recognition of Deferred Tax Assets for Unrealised Losses
(Proposed amendments to IAS 12)
The Hong Kong Institute of Certified Public Accountants is the only body authorised by
law to promulgate financial reporting, auditing and ethical standards for professional
accountants in Hong Kong. We welcome the opportunity to provide you with our
comments on this Exposure Draft (ED). Our responses to the questions raised in your
Invitation to Comment are set out in the Appendix for your consideration.
We welcome the proposed amendments to IAS 12 to clarify the recognition of a deferred
tax asset that is related to a debt instrument measured at fair value and some other
related issues identified by the IFRS Interpretations Committee.
We support the proposals in the ED but would suggest the IASB extend the proposed
example illustrating paragraph 26(d) beyond the first year to show the temporary
difference unwinding. We also recommend that a numerical example should be added in
the body of the Standard to assist understanding of the proposed paragraph 29(a)(i)
regarding the clarification that an entity's estimate of future taxable profit should exclude
tax deductions resulting from reversal of deductible temporary differences.
If you have any questions regarding the matters raised in our comment letter, please
contact Ben Lo, our Associate Director of Standard Setting at [email protected]
Yours faithfully,
Chris Joy
Executive Director
CJ/BL
Encl.
APPENDIX
Hong Kong Institute of CPAs
Comment on IASB Exposure Draft of Recognition of Deferred Tax Assets for
Unrealised Losses (Proposed amendments to IAS 12)
Question 1 – Existence of a deductible temporary difference
The IASB proposes to confirm that decreases in the carrying amount of a fixedrate debt instrument for which the principal is paid on maturity give rise to a
deductible temporary difference if this debt instrument is measured at fair value
and if its tax base remains at cost. This applies irrespective of whether the debt
instrument's holder expects to recover the carrying amount of the debt
instrument by sale or by use, ie by holding it to maturity, or whether it is
probable that the issuer will pay all the contractual cash flows.
Do you agree with the proposed amendment? Why or why not? If not, what
alternative do you propose?
We agree with the proposed clarification: it is consistent with paragraph 26(d) of IAS 12
that a difference between the carrying amount of an asset measured at fair value and
its higher tax base gives rise to a deductible temporary difference. We agree with the
view contained in paragraph BC7 that the economic benefit embodied in the related
deferred tax asset results from the ability of the holder of the debt instrument to
achieve future taxable gains in the amount of the deductible temporary difference
without paying taxes on those gains.
Moreover, we suggest the IASB should extend the proposed illustrative example
beyond the first year to show the difference unwinding, as this will help illustrate the
impact on total income tax cost and effective tax rate over the life of the temporary
difference.
Question 2 – Recovering an asset for more than its carrying amount
The IASB proposes to clarify the extent to which an entity's estimate of future
taxable profit (paragraph 29) includes amounts from recovering assets for more
than their carrying amounts.
Do you agree with the proposed amendment? Why or why not? If not, what
alternative do you propose?
We agree with the IASB's proposed amendment: we believe it will reduce diversity in
practice on the assessment of whether an entity can recover an asset for more than its
carrying amount when estimating future taxable profits. We support the view contained
in paragraphs BC12-BC14 as 'determining temporary differences and estimating
probable future taxable profit against which deductible temporary differences are
assessed for utilisation are two separate steps' and 'a limitation on the estimate of
probable future taxable profits by the carrying amount of assets can lead to
inappropriate results'.
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Question 3 – Probable future taxable profit against which deductible temporary
differences are assessed for utilisation
The IASB proposes to clarify that an entity's estimate of future taxable profit
(paragraph 29) excludes tax deductions resulting from the reversal of deductible
temporary differences.
Do you agree with the proposed amendment? Why or why not? If not, what
alternative do you propose?
We welcome the IASB's clarification that an entity's estimate of future taxable profit
should exclude tax deductions resulting from reversal of deductible temporary
differences.
However, we find the proposed paragraph 29(a)(i) difficult to understand and suggest a
numerical example to be included in the body of the Standard to assist understanding.
Question 4 – Combined versus separate assessment
The IASB proposes to clarify that an entity assesses whether to recognise the
tax effect of a deductible temporary difference as a deferred tax asset in
combination with other deferred tax assets. If tax law restricts the utilisation of
tax losses so that an entity can only deduct tax losses against income of a
specified type or specified types (eg if it can deduct capital losses only against
capital gains), the entity must still assess a deferred tax asset in combination
with other deferred tax assets, but only with deferred tax assets of the
appropriate type.
Do you agree with the proposed amendment? Why or why not? If not, what
alternative do you propose?
We agree with the proposed 27A as there is no explicit requirement contained in
IAS 12 regarding the treatment if tax law only permits offsetting of specific types of loss
against a particular type or particular types of income. The proposed amendment adds
clarity to paragraph 24 which relates to the extent to which the deductible temporary
differences can be utilised.
Question 5 – Transition
The IASB proposes to require limited retrospective application of the proposed
amendments for entities already applying IFRS. This is so that restatements of
the opening retained earnings or other components of equity of the earliest
comparative period presented should be allowed but not be required. Full
retrospective application would be required for first-time adopters of IFRS.
Do you agree with the proposed amendment? Why or why not? If not, what
alternative do you propose?
We agree with the proposed transition provisions.
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