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This is the tax payable by companies on their trading activities of a given financial period. The standard doesn’t give the guidelines on how this tax should be computed because the corporation tax is based on the rules and procedures of a country with regards to tax matters.However, once this tax has been computed then the standard gives the guidelines on how it should be treated in the financial statements.IAS 12 requires that income tax should be shown as a separate item on the face of the income statement and described as “Income tax expense”. If part of this amount remains unpaid, then it should be shown as part of current liabilities in balance sheet and described as “Current tax”.In practice, it may be difficult for a company to know exactly how much tax should be paid in relation to a given financial period. Therefore, many companies use an estimate for the purpose of completion of the accounts.In the subsequent financial period, the amount actually payable would be confirmed with the tax authorities and the firm may be required to pay either more than or less than what was actually provided for.The ‘the more than’ or ‘less than’ tax is called on under or over provision of previous years tax.IAS 12 requires that under or provision of previous year’s tax should be adjusted for in the period in which it arises and thus the company shouldn’t adjust its previous year’s financial statements.An underprovision of previous years tax will thus be added to the current years income tax expense and over provision of previous years tax will be deducted from the current years income tax expense and eventually the net amount shown as the income tax expense in the income statement.
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