What is a Deferred Tax Liability
A deferred tax liability is a tax that is assessed or is due for the current period but has not yet been paid. The deferral comes from the difference in timing between when the tax is accrued and when the tax is paid. A deferred tax liability records the fact the company will, in the future, pay more income tax because of a transaction that took place during the current period, such as an installment sale receivable.
Because Indian. tax laws and accounting rules differ, a company's earnings before taxes on the income statement can be greater than its taxable income on a tax return, giving rise to a deferred tax liability on the company's balance sheet. The deferred tax liability represents a future tax payment a company is expected to make to appropriate tax authorities in the future, and it is calculated as the company's anticipated tax rate times the difference between its taxable income and accounting earnings before taxes.
A common source of deferred tax liability is the difference in deprecoation expense treatment by tax laws and accounting rules. The depreciation expense for long-lived assets for financial statemnets purposes is typically calculated using a straight-line method, while tax regulations allow companies to use an accelerated depreciation method. Since the straight-line method produces lower depreciation when compared to that of the underaccelerated method, a company's accounting income is temporarily higher than its taxable income. The company recognizes the deferred tax liability on the differential between its accounting earnings before taxes and taxable income. As the company continues depreciating its assets, the difference between straight-line depreciation and accelerated depreciation narrows, and the amount of deferred tax liability is gradually removed through a series of offsetting accounting entries.
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