B Law & Tax
11 July 2023

Tax Advisor: Is it valid to deduct an expense incorrectly accounted for in a year subsequent to that of its accrual, according to the accounting rules, if the year in which the accrual occurred is already time-barred?

The lower court holds that the tax authorities allow the deduction of an expense accrued in a previous year in a subsequent year, as long as the year in which the accrual occurred is not time-barred, considering the statute of limitations as from the deadline for filing the tax return of the year in which the expense was recorded for accounting purposes. It is argued that the increase in tax loss carryforwards does not necessarily imply a decrease in taxation, despite the fact that this increase may eventually be reflected in future positive results. Therefore, a restrictive interpretation is proposed that excludes cases in which a late imputed expense has the effect of reducing the negative taxable income or increasing it.

The contested ruling considers that taxation is unduly reduced when a taxpayer reserves the deduction of an accrued expense for a more favorable time, taking advantage of changes in the tax rate or in the rules on deductible expenses. The question of interest is to determine whether it is valid to deduct an expense incorrectly accounted for in a year subsequent to that of its accrual, in accordance with the accounting rules, provided that this allocation does not result in a lower taxation that would have corresponded by applying the general rules of temporary allocation, when the year in which the accrual occurred is already prescribed, computing the statute of limitations from the tax return deadline of the year in which the expense was recorded for accounting purposes.

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