Clarity in financial reporting - March 2022

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Clarity in financial reporting - March 2022 monthly newsletter

Accounting for the R&D tax offset and two minute update

Our monthly Clarity in financial reporting newsletter informs you of key focus areas in financial reporting for the month: actions, developments, and dates.

In this issue

Key actions

Key developments

Key actions

Accounting for the R&D tax offset

Why does it matter? With the revised research and development regime in place for the financial year ending 30 June 2022, now is the time to ensure accounting outcomes are consistent with the changed aspects of the scheme.

What’s changed?

A revised R&D tax offset regime, also known as the R&D Tax Incentive (RDTI), has taken effect for income years commencing on or after 1 July 2021, and will therefore be accounted for in annual financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2022.

The net tax benefit available under the scheme is limited to an increased $150 million annual expenditure cap. The R&D tax offset is available as either a refundable or non-refundable tax offset (applying a premium above the entity’s prevailing corporate tax rate), depending on whether the aggregated turnover of the claimant is less than $20 million (refundable) or $20 million and over (non-refundable).

The refundable R&D offset premium is set at 18.5% above the prevailing corporate tax rate which is the base tax rate of 25%, resulting in an R&D rate of 43.5%. The non-refundable offset base premium is set at 8.5% above the prevailing corporate tax rate (of 25% or 30%), with a 16.5% premium above the prevailing corporate tax rate for eligible R&D expenditure exceeding a defined 2% ‘R&D intensity threshold’.

The manner in which the ‘clawback’ mechanisms work has been altered and now are reflected through the entity’s income tax return in all cases.

When compared to the previous RFTI regime, the new regime may change some existing accounting policies and introduce additional accounting issues.

Practical guide to accounting for the R&D tax offset

Our recent Clarity publication Accounting for the R&D tax offset:

  • Explains how the revised R&D tax offset works in practice
  • Explores how the R&D tax offset should be accounted for, including the accounting policy options and general practice, deferred tax effects, presentation and disclosure considerations and other matters
  • Outlines the accounting impacts of the new ‘clawback’ mechanism
  • Provides examples of accounting for the R&D tax offset using various accounting policies, both for refundable and non-refundable R&D tax offsets.

Access the publication here.

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Key developments

Two minute update

Why does it matter? Ensure you are aware of the latest developments.

A summary of recent developments:

AASB confirms support for voluntary extended external reporting

The AASB agreed at its February 2022 meeting to finalise a Position Statement which supports the voluntary application of the recommendations of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The AASB also acknowledged significant support for the Board to undertake a project on sustainability reporting arising from feedback to its agenda consultation and made preliminary decisions toward the development of a project plan (AASB Action Alert).

Extended transition options for Simplified Disclosures to be finalised

The AASB also agreed at its February 2022 meeting to finalise amendments which would:

  • Clarify that entities moving from unconsolidated Reduced Disclosure Requirements to consolidated Simplified Disclosures financial statements can apply AASB 1 First-time Adoption of Australian Accounting Standards when preparing consolidated financial statements for the first time
  • Allow for-profit and not-for-profit subsidiaries preparing general purpose financial statements for the first time to apply the optional exemption in AASB 1.D16(a) and measure their assets and liabilities at the carrying amounts included in a parent’ consolidated financial statements when the parent has already adopted either Australian Accounting Standards or International Financial Reporting Standards (with similar amendments made to AASB 1.D17).

These amendments will assist entities planning transition to Simplified Disclosures at 30 June 2022. The amendments are expected to be finalised in April 2022. We will update and reissue our Simplified Disclosures resources to take into account these changes in the near future.

Electronic meetings and document signing changes made permanent

Federal Parliament has made the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Act 2022, which makes permanent changes to the Corporations Act 2001 to allow companies and registered schemes to:

  • Hold hybrid meetings (attending in person or remotely)
  • Use technology to execute, sign and distribute company and meeting documents.

The new requirements come into effect on 1 April 2022 and replace temporary measures that expire on 31 March 2022. More information is available in the Treasurer’s press release and the Explanatory Memoranda for the legislation.

ASIC extends relief for virtual-only meetings

ASIC has made ASIC Corporations (Virtual-only Meetings) Instrument 2022/129, which allows the holding of virtual-only meetings of members:

  • For listed companies, listed registered schemes and unlisted registered schemes, for an additional two months to 31 May 2022
  • For unlisted companies, for an additional three months to 30 June 2022.

The instrument becomes operative on 1 April 2022 and the relief is broader than permitted under the Corporations Amendment (Meetings and Documents) Act 2022 discussed above, as under those amendments only entities permitted by their constitution to hold virtual-only meetings can do so.

Entities taking advantage of the relief must ensure the board of directors of the company or responsible entity pass a resolution to the effect that it would be unreasonable for the company or registered scheme to hold a meeting of its members, wholly or partially, at one or more physical venues due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More information is available in the ASIC media release.

More budget measures enacted

Federal Parliament has made the Treasury Laws Amendment (Enhancing Superannuation Outcomes For Australians and Helping Australian Businesses Invest) Act 2022, implementing a number of previous Federal Budget announcements, including:

  • Removing the $450-a-month threshold before superannuation is payable on wages and salaries. This may increase employee benefit liabilities in some cases, and may also need to be taken into account in cash flow forecasts where significant
  • Extending the temporary full expensing regime (for capital expenditure) to 30 June 2023. This may result in recognition of deferred tax liabilities where the full expensing is adopted for tax purposes and may also have other impacts
  • Extend the loss carry back rules by 12 months, allowing eligible corporate tax entities to claim a loss carry back tax offset in the 2022 23 income year (this measure was enacted through the Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Framework and Other Measures Bill 2021 discussed below).

More information is available in the Federal Treasurer media release and on the originating Bill page.

New funds management structure introduced 

On 10 February 2022, the Federal Parliament passed the Corporate Collective Investment Vehicle Framework and Other Measures Bill 2021. The Bill received Royal Assent on 22 February 2022 and the resultant Act introduces a new type of company into the Corporations Act 2001 used for funds management purposes, the corporate collective investment vehicle (CCIV). The CCIV regime comes into effect from 1 July 2022.

The Act responds to calls to increase the competitiveness of Australia’s fund management industry internationally and to attract offshore investment. A CCIV is a company limited by shares which operates as an umbrella vehicle with one or more sub-funds. Investors are issued shares in the CCIV, but they are ‘referrable’ to an individual sub-fund. A CCIV is a ‘flow through’ vehicle for tax purposes under the attribution managed investment trust (AMIT) regime and so is not taxed in its own right.

The Act imposes modified financial reporting requirements on CCIVs and also modifies the application of other aspects of the Corporations Act 2001 to make them relevant to CCIVs.

We will update our publications to explain the financial reporting and related aspects of the CCIV regime in due course.

Published : March 2022

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