Manager: So, could you just go over depreciation again?
Accountant: Sure, I’ve prepared a quick list of the different types like you asked.
Accountant: Ok, let’s see. Well, you know that normal accounting treatment means that a fixed asset has to be written off over its useful life. Basically we look at the cost of the item, and take away its estimated scrap value. Then we use a depreciation method to write it off.
Manager: yes, of course it’s five years for computers, I think.
Accountant: Right, well, as you say, there are different ways of doing this. Let’s see straight line, declining balance, sum-of-the-years’-digits, unit of production, hours of use. If you look at this list, you can see a description of each of these methods.
Manager: Oh yes, I see, that’s very useful.
CEO: We’ve got a few minutes to ourselves. Could you just go over it again? How is the taxation expense calculated?
Accountant: OK. The operating profit minus our interest expenses gives us the profit before tax figure. This is the amount which theoretically is then subject to taxation. In fact, the taxation amount is just an estimate, because we won’t know until much later exactly how much tax we’ll have to pay.
CEO: What do we do with this estimate?
Accountant: In effect, we prepare an interim tax return. It won’t be filed, just kept by us to justify the taxation expense we include in the P&L.
CEO: Will this also be audited?
Accountant: Yes. And of course the profit after tax is the figure which we can distribute to shareholders.
CEO: What do we do when the taxable income differs from the profit before tax?
Accountant: We record what happens on the balance sheet. It’s either a net deferred tax asset or liability.
Kathy : Hi Javier. How’s it going?
Javier: It’s not easy, all this English. We didn’t do any of this on my course.
Kathy: Can I help?
Javier: Well, maybe you could clarify a couple of things. Let’s see. Ah , here we are. Provision for income taxes. What does that mean?
Kathy : OK. Provision means putting money aside so that we have something to pay with later. So provision for income taxes is talking about the current year’s tax expense which will have to be paid in the future.
Javier: Like provisional?
Kathy : Not exactly. Provisional just means temporary, you know, not final. Like a provisional budget. It’s not the final version.
Javier: I see. And what about deferred income tax balances. What does deferred mean?
Kathy : Basically put off to another day. The income has been recognized in the accounts, but the tax owing on that income will only be realized in the future.
Javier: OK. How does that affect associated companies?
Kathy : Well, it depends. Associated companies and affiliates are a special case. Deferred taxes are not normally
Uta: These costs clearly relate to the repair and maintenance of our machines.
IRS: But in your financial statements, you argue that this expenditure was to upgrade and you have capitalized it all. At first glance, it appears clear that…
Uta: Excuse me, but you know as well as I do that the accounting and tax regulations allow for different definitions of what we can capitalize, and what we must expense.
IRS: Yes, but it’s easy to work out the type of costs you have from the descriptions in your accounts. And based on our interpretation of the laws, which you can of course depreciate.
Uta: We’re going to take this further. I’m afraid I can’t agree with your comments.
IRS: Look, I’m sorry, but this conversation is going nowhere. I suggest you make a submission and send it to our office. We can then consider your arguments in detail.
Uta: Fine. I’ll do it today. Thanks for your time.
IRS: You’re welcome. Goodbye.