With regard to the income tax consequences of dividend, paragraphs 52A and 52B of Ind AS 12, Income Taxes, provide as under:
52A In some jurisdictions, income taxes are payable at a higher or lower rate if part or all of the net profit or retained earnings is paid out as a dividend to shareholders of the entity. In some other jurisdictions, income taxes may be refundable or payable if part or all of the net profit or retained earnings is paid out as a dividend to shareholders of the entity. In these circumstances, current and deferred tax assets and liabilities are measured at the tax rate applicable to undistributed profits.
52B In the circumstances described in paragraph 52A, the income tax consequences of dividends are recognised when a liability to pay the dividend is recognised. The income tax consequences of dividends are more directly linked to past transactions or events than to distributions to owners. Therefore, the income tax consequences of dividends are recognised in profit or loss for the period as required by paragraph 58 except to the extent that the income tax consequences of dividends arise from the circumstances described in paragraph 58(a) and (b).
Paragraph 52A deals with the aspect where income taxes are payable at a higher or lower rate if part or all of the net profit or retained earnings is paid out as a dividend to shareholders. However, as per paragraph 52B, income tax consequences of dividends are to be presented in profit or loss where it is linked to past transactions and events recognised. The ASB is of the view that in India the rate of income tax for company on taxable income does not change if a company distributes dividend. In India, the dividend distribution tax is a tax that is computed on the basis of the amount of dividend distributed to shareholders rather than based on the amount of profits earned and it arises at the point of time when the profits are distributed. Therefore, Indian scenario is different from the income tax consequences in other jurisdictions, which are covered by paragraph 52A of Ind AS 12.
In this context, following paragraph 65A of Ind AS 12, Income Taxes, as reproduced below may also be noted:
“65A When an entity pays dividends to its shareholders, it may be required to pay a portion of the dividends to taxation authorities on behalf of shareholders. In many jurisdictions, this amount is referred to as a withholding tax. Such an amount paid or payable to taxation authorities is charged to equity as a part of the dividends.”
In India, dividends are not taxable in the hands of shareholders considering that DDT is paid by the company that paid the dividend. Had there been no DDT mechanism, dividend would have been taxable in the hands of recipients, though recently it has been made taxable if the amount of dividend exceeds a specified limit. Therefore, in view of paragraph 65A, DDT is, in substance, of the nature of withholding tax. Therefore, the Board is of the view that the nature of payment of DDT in India is not similar to the scenario covered under the current paragraph 52A. Accordingly, the following paragraph of Ind AS 12, Income Taxes is relevant with regard to the presentation of dividend distribution tax paid:
‘‘61A Current tax and deferred tax shall be recognised outside profit or loss if the tax relates to items that are recognised, in the same or a different period, outside profit or loss. Therefore, current tax and deferred tax that relates to items that are recognised, in the same or a different period: