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Income Computation And Disclosure Standards (ICDS) – An Update

There have been a spate of amendments to the various Income Computation and Disclosure Standards (ICDS) prescribed by the Central Government under section 145 (2) of the Income-tax Act, 1961. CA Dhaval Desai has systematically analyzed all the ICDS issued up to date and explained their implications in a concise manner

Section (S.) 145 of the Income Tax Act, 1961 (ITA) provides that taxable income of an assessee falling under the heads “Profits and gains of business or profession” or “Income from other sources”, shall be computed in accordance with either cash or mercantile system of accounting which is regularly employed by the assessee. It further provides that the Central Government (CG) may notify, from time to time, Income Computation & Disclosure Standards (ICDS) to be followed by any class of taxpayers or in respect of any class of income.

Based on the recommendations of the ICDS Committee and public representations on the draft ICDS, the CG had notified 10 ICDS (‘ICDS 2015’) vide notification dated 31 March 2015 for compliance by all assessees following mercantile system of accounting for computing ‘business’ and ‘other sources’ income w.e.f. 1 April 2015.


However, several issues were raised by stakeholders on ‘ICDS 2015’ and thereafter CG referred the issues to the ICDS Committee for issuing proper clarifications/ guidance. In the interim, CG also deferred the effective date of ICDS applicability by one year (i.e. to FY 2016-17) pending issue of appropriate clarifications/ guidance by ICDS Committee as well as revision of the Tax Audit Report to capture disclosures required in terms of ICDS.

The ICDS Committee after considering the issues raised by stakeholders, suggested a two-step approach for smooth implementation of ICDS i.e.

  • Changes in the ICDS 2015; and
  • Issue of FAQs for clarifying on rest of the pending issues.

Considering the ICDS Committee recommendations, CG rescinded (1) the ICDS 2015 and notified revised (2) ICDS (‘revised ICDS’) to be applicable from FY 2016-17 and thereafter. Further, CG amended (3) Form 3CD (tax audit report) for ICDS related disclosure requirements and for quantifying adjustment to profits or loss for complying with ICDS.

The following table provides a glimpse of changes brought in through revised ICDS as well provides details (in brief) of clarifications provided by CBDT through FAQs:

Caption

Particulars

1. General

Revised ICDS

  • ICDS does not apply to individuals/ HUF not required to get their accounts audited under S.44AB of ITA
  • Under transitional provision of each ICDS, consequential changes are made to give effect to the change in effective date of ICDS applicability i.e. FY 2016-17

FAQs

  • ICDS are not meant for maintenance of books of accounts/ preparing financial statements however, accounting policies mentioned in ICDS-I (Accounting Policies) being fundamental in nature shall apply while computing ‘business’ and ‘other sources’ income (Q.1)
  • Provisions of ICDS are notified, after due deliberations and examination of judicial precedents, to bring certainty and therefore shall be applicable to such transactional issues, even if inconsistent with judicial precedents (Q.2)
  • In case of conflict between ICDS and Income Tax Rules, 1962 (‘Rules’), Rules shall prevail over ICDS (Q.4)
  • ICDS apply for computation of ‘business’ and ‘other sources’ income, irrespective of the accounting standards adopted by the companies i.e. either accounting standards or Ind-AS (Q.5)
  • ICDS provisions are applicable to the assessee’s computing income under the presumptive tax scheme [e.g. ICDS-III (Construction Contracts)  or ICDS IV (Revenue recognition) shall apply for determining receipts/ turnover presumptive income of a firm under S. 44AD of ITA] (Q.3)
  • Provisions of ICDS shall apply for computation of income liable to tax on gross basis like interest, royalty and fee for technical services for non-residents under S.115A of the ITA (Q.14)
  • General provisions of ICDS not applicable to the assessee’s governed by sector specific provisions contained in ITA or ICDS (Q.7)
  • ICDS not applicable for computing Minimum Alternative Tax (MAT) under S.115JB of the ITA since MAT is computed on ‘book profit’ i.e. Net profit as per P&L a/c prepared under Companies Act, 2013 subject to specified adjustments in ITA (Q.6)
  • ICDS applicable for computing Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), applicable to non-corporate assessee, since AMT is computed on adjusted total income based on the normal provisions of the ITA, subject to specified adjustments (Q.6)
  • Net effect on the income due to application of ICDS to be disclosed in tax return. Further, the disclosures required as per ICDS shall be made in the tax audit report however there shall not be any separate disclosure requirements for assessee’s who are not liable tax audit (Q.25)
2. ICDS-I (Accounting Policies)

Revised ICDS

No Change

FAQs

  • Market to Market (MTM) loss or expected loss shall not be recognised unless permitted by any other ICDS however is silent on MTM gains or expected profits. FAQs provides that the same principle, on a mutatis mutandis basis, shall apply to MTM gains or expected profits (Q.8)
  • An accounting policy shall not be changed without ‘reasonable cause’. However the term ‘reasonable cause’ is undefined. FAQs state that ‘reasonable cause’ is an existing concept and has evolved well over a period of time, conferring desired flexibility to the taxpayer in deserving cases (Q.9)
  • ICDS-I shall govern those derivatives which are not covered within the scope of ICDS-VI/VIII. Therefore, MTM loss on such derivatives may not be tax deductible (Q.10)
3. ICDS-II (Inventory valuation)

Revised ICDS

  • ICDS 2015 provided items which will form part of ‘cost of services’ in case of a ‘service provider’. The reference to ‘service provider’ is omitted from the cost of services however the ambiguity continues with regards to applicability of inventory valuation to service provider as the same is not included in scope exclusion of ICDS-II as provided in the scope exclusion of accounting standard dealing with Valuation of Inventories
  • Standard costing method of inventory valuation permitted if standard cost approximates actual cost
  • In respect of retail method of measuring inventory, cost is determined by reducing appropriate percentage of gross margin from the sales value. ICDS now requires that an average percentage for each retail department under retail method is to be mandatorily used

FAQs

No FAQs related to ICDS-II

4. ICDS III – Construction Contract

Revised ICDS

Transitional provisions now provide for complete grandfathering in respect of construction contracts which commenced on or before 31 March 2016 but not completed by the said date and therefore contract revenue and contract costs from such construction contracts shall be recognised based on the method regularly followed by the assessee’s prior to 31 March 2016

FAQs

  • Retention money needs to be recognised as revenue on billing if there is reasonable certainty of its ultimate collection, even if such receipt is contingent on satisfaction of certain performance criteria (Q.11)
  • As presently there are no ICDS notified for real estate developers, built operate transfer projects and leases and therefore these transactions shall be governed by the existing provisions of ITL and ICDS, as may be applicable (Q.12)
5. ICDS IV – Revenue Recognition

Revised ICDS

Revenue recognition criteria for service contracts (in addition to percentage completion method (POCM) as provided by ‘ICDS 2015’)

  • Option provided to recognise service revenue on straight line basis, over the specific period, in a case where the services are provided by an indeterminate number of acts over a specific period of time
  • Option provided to recognise service revenue on completion or when substantially completed, in a case where duration of the service contract is not more than 90 days
  • Transitional provisions of ICDS-IV is linked to transitional provisions of ICDS III and therefore service contract which commenced on or before 31 March 2016 but not completed by the said date shall be recognised based on the method regularly followed by the assessee prior to 31 March 2016

Revenue recognition criteria for interest income (in addition to recognition on time basis as provided by ‘ICDS 2015’)

  • Interest on refund of any tax, duty or cess shall deemed to be the income of the year in which such interest is received by the assessee

FAQs

Interest accrues on time basis and royalty accrues on the contractual term and therefore needs to be recognised even when the criteria of reasonable certainty of ultimate collection is not met. Any subsequent non-recovery in either cases can be claimed as bad debts under S.36(1)(vii) of the ITA. Further, specific provisions of ITA (e.g. S.43D) shall prevail over the provisions of ICDS (Q.13)

6. ICDS V – Tangible assets

Revised ICDS

No significant change

FAQs

Expenses incurred after trial run and experimental production but before commencing commercial production, shall need to be capitalised (Q.15)

7. ICDS VI – Effects of changes in foreign exchange rates

Revised ICDS

  • Distinction between integral and non-integral foreign operation removed. Accordingly, it now requires that financial statements of a foreign operation should be translated as if the transactions of the foreign operation are that of the taxpayer himself, irrespective of whether foreign operations are integral or non-integral.
  • Non-monetary item, being inventory, which is carried at net realisable value shall be converted by using the exchange rate that existed when such value was determined

FAQs

Foreign currency translation reserve balance as on 1 April 2016 (opening balance) pertaining to exchange differences on monetary items for non-integral operations shall be recognised in the financial year 2016-17 to the extent not recognised as income in the past (Q.16)

8. ICDS VII – Government Grants

Revised ICDS

No significant change

FAQs

Transitional provisions require recognition of government grant as per ICDS which meet the recognition criteria on or after 1 April 2016. Further, ICDS provides that recognition shall not be postponed beyond actual receipt and therefore government grants actually received prior to 1 April 2016 shall deemed to be recognised on its receipt and accordingly shall not be governed by ICDS but shall be governed by the existing provisions of the ITA. (4) (Q.17)

9. ICDS VIII – Securities

Revised ICDS

  • Definition of securities amended to include share of a company in which public are not substantially interested
  • In addition to FIFO method, revised ICDS now also permits weighted average method for ascertainment of cost of securities
  • Revised ICDS introduces new ‘Part B’ to deal with securities (which includes derivatives within its ambit) held by scheduled bank or public financial institutions and provides that the classification, recognition and measurement of securities shall be in accordance with the extant guidelines issued by Reserve Bank of India and any claim for deduction in excess of the said guidelines shall not be permissible. To this extent, provisions of ICDS-VI relating to forward exchange contract shall not apply

FAQs

  • Interest income on securities which was taxed on accrual basis however not actually received till the date of sale of such security (broken period interest), shall be allowable as deduction while computing income arising from sale of such security (Q.18)
  • Illustration provided in the FAQ on valuation of securities based on the accounting standards (i.e. individual scrip wise) as well as based on the bucket approach as suggested in ICDS (i.e. category-wise valuation). The illustration highlights that valuation as per ICDS may be higher than valuation as per books on individual scrip-wise basis (Q.19)
10. ICDS IX – Borrowing cost

Revised ICDS

  • ICDS 2015 did not provide the criterion of substantial period of time (5) for classifying any tangible or intangible asset (except for inventory) as qualifying asset requiring capitalisation for specific as well as general purpose borrowing

Amended ICDS provides that qualifying asset shall be such assets, for the general purpose borrowing, that necessarily require a period > 12 months for the acquisition, construction or production. However, no threshold is provided for borrowing for specific purpose

  • Amendments made in normative formulae for computing general purpose borrowing cost
  • Period clarified when the capitalisation will cease; and
  • Certain amendments in the formulae to exclude specific borrowing cost as well as the assets related to specific purpose borrowing.

FAQs

  • Borrowing cost considered for capitalisation shall exclude borrowing cost which are specifically disallowed under the specific provisions of the ITA (Q.20)
  • Bill discounting charges and other similar charges are covered under the definition of borrowing cost (Q.21)
  • Allocation of general borrowing cost amongst different qualifying assets shall be done on asset-by-asset basis (Q.22)
11. ICDS X – Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets

Revised ICDS

No significant change

FAQs

  • Illustration provided to explain the impact of transitional provision which were introduced with the intent that there should neither be double taxation nor should there be escape of any income due to application of ICDS from a particular date (refer note for the illustration) (Q.23)
  • Provisioning for employee benefits which are otherwise covered by accounting standard (6) shall continue to be governed by specific provisions of ITA and are not dealt with by ICDS (Q.24)

Reader are also requested to note that while ICDS has been postponed to FY 2016-17 onwards however certain amendments (refer section 2(24)(xviii) relating to taxability of government grant and proviso to section 36(1)(iiii) which deals with disallowance of interest cost for assets not put to use) as carried out by Finance Act 2015 in the ITA are also in the statue book and are already in force from 1 April 2015.

Note: Impact of transitional provisions of ICDS-X as explained by way of illustration in the FAQ (Q.23)

No.

Particulars

Amounts in million

A

Provision required as per ICDS as on 31 March 2017 for items brought forward from 31 March 2016

30

B

Provisions as per ICDS for FY 2016-17

50

C

Total gross provision (A+B)

80

D

Less: Provision already recognised in computation of taxable income in FY 2015-16 or earlier years

20

E

Net provision as per ICDS in FY 2016-17 to be recognised as per transition provision

60

 

(1) Notification No. 86 of 2016 dated 29 September 2016

(2) Notification No. 87 of 2016 dated 29 September 2016

(3) Notification No. 88 of 2016 dated 29 September 2016

(4) This is irrespective of the fact that the conditions attached to such grant are satisfied on or after 1 April 2016

(5) Generally, a period of 12 months is considered as a substantial period of time

(6) Accounting Standard 15 on Employee Benefits

Reproduced with permission from the AIFTP Journal
Disclaimer: The contents of this document are solely for informational purpose. It does not constitute professional advice or a formal recommendation. While due care has been taken in preparing this document, the existence of mistakes and omissions herein is not ruled out. Neither the author nor itatonline.org and its affiliates accepts any liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any inaccurate or incomplete information in this document nor for any actions taken in reliance thereon. No part of this document should be distributed or copied (except for personal, non-commercial use) without express written permission of itatonline.org
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6 comments on “Income Computation And Disclosure Standards (ICDS) – An Update
  1. Dinesh kumar ahuja says:

    if there no change in ICDS whether the same is to be filled in each column or to be left blank .

  2. Dipu says:

    If according to given information icds is applicable to client but there is no changes or deviations in icds points I to X. Then whether it is necessary to make any disclosure in audit report or can i leave it blank or can mention in it as not applicable. Please clarify me?????

  3. Aman Kumar Mittal says:

    I am unable to understand what we have to report under Clause 13(f) of Form 3CD of Revised Form Tax Audit. A Clear guidance in this regards is also not available

    • anurag mathur says:

      13(d) require whether ICDS impact is applicable
      13(e) if ICDS impact apply give each icds impact on profit as determined in P & L A/c
      13(f) write down policy which is applicable in case given

  4. KOMAL BHARDWAJ says:

    I STILL DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT EXACTLY DO I HAVE TO DISCLOSE IN CLAUSE 13f OF FORM 3CD, PLEASE CLARIFY.

  5. vswami says:

    INSTANT

    Attempt has been well made by the writer to offer, in a simple style, aiming at a theoretical exposition of the several measures taken by the fiscal authorities in the fanciful matter of ‘ICDS’.

    The latest in order /succession pertains to the ‘realty’ sector and related fields of activity; look up Here http://www.itatonline.org/info/draft-income-computation-and-disclosure-standard-icds-on-real-estate-transactions/draft-icds-real-estate-transactions-cbdt-11052017/#dlcenter

    That may have been intended to serve the special purpose of anyone having concern or stakes, in any role, or in whatever scale /magnitude- professional or any other- need to necessarily be wary of ..

    Venturing to have a peep through:

    Random Selected –
    Q
    Defn.
    (a) “Fair value” is the amount for which an asset could be exchanged between a knowledgeable, willing buyer and a knowledgeable, willing seller in an arm’s length transaction.
    (b) “Project” means the smallest group of units, plots or saleable spaces, as the case may be, which are linked with a common set of basic facilities, if any, in such a manner that unless the facilities are made available and functional,
    these units, plots or saleable spaces cannot be put to their intended effective use.
    A larger venture shall be split into smaller projects when these basic conditions are fulfilled.
    UQ
    To quickly reflect upon,loudly wonder,and wildly echo instant thoughts: None whosoever concerned seem to believe that such inept drafting, ostensibly replete with potentials for more and more complexities, waging an open war against field realities, needs to be halted. For the reason that could not be expected to serve any social purpose; except, if at all, work as a psycho-social ploy (not just a psychological ploy, often tried but in vain) !

    Cross refer: Thoughts shared before, on the prima facie dubious, nay self-defeating, manner in which inherently confusing concepts such as, ‘Fair Value’ are sought to be given an artificial meaning; despite being devoid of any intelligently perceived or sustainable substance!

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