“A deferred tax asset should be recognized for the carry-forward of unused tax losses and unused tax credits to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit will be available against which the unused tax losses and used tax credits can be utilized”
If a company has unused tax losses carried forward from previous year (years), some of the companies tend not to recognize the deferred tax asset in its balance sheet. As stated in IFRS 12: “… to the extent that it is probable that future taxable profit will be available against which the unused tax losses …can be utilized”. Assuming XYZ co has been making Net Losses for 2 consecutive years, and the current losses position is strong evidence that XYZ co’s businesses are not doing well, and future profitability is in doubt.
In order to “utilize” the unused tax losses carried forward, XYZ co. has to make a profit in next financial year. Unless there are strong reasonable grounds to believe that ‘it is probable that future taxable profit will be available’, such as: entering an agreement with customers for next 12 month orders, the company should not recognize the Deferred Tax Assets, based on ground of prudence.
The second issue involved in recognizing deferred tax assets for unused tax losses and unused tax credits is: the unused tax losses are subject to Inland Revenue Authority of respective countries, and compliance with certain underlying provisions. Due to these reasons, the market tends not to recognize DTA, even if they are likely in a net profit position in next financial year.
However, one could disclosed unutilized tax losses or unutilized tax credits in the form of notes to financial statement, as an information to financial statements users.