Most of us were relieved when a tax act was passed in time to avert the much discussed "fiscal cliff" (at least for now). While many businesses retain some much valued deductions and credits without any lapse in benefits, for financial statement purposes, it's not that simple. Generally accepted accounting principles require that tax expense be calculated using enacted tax laws -- that is, the tax laws must be in effect as of the date of the financial statements.
So what does this mean to your business? The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 was not "enacted" (signed by the President) until 2013. Thus, certain benefits of the tax law, primarily certain tax credits, cannot be recorded for financial statement purposes until 2013. For example, the R&D credit had previously expired (as of 12/31/11) and was not in effect for 2012 until 2013. So, no benefit can be recorded in the 2012 financial statements for R&D credit. Instead, in 2013, there will be a "catch up" adjustment recorded.
Most banks will adjust for taxes in calculating various covenants, but, if your business is significantly affected by the tax law, you may wish to evaluate the impact and speak with your bank in advance of completing your year-end financials, so that there are no surprises.
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This advice is not intended or written to be used for, and it cannot be used for, the purpose of avoiding any federal tax penalties that may be imposed, or for promoting, marketing or recommending to another person, any tax-related matter.