Noteworthy 2023 IRS Inflation Tax Changes and Accounting Considerations for High Inflation

With the world seeing inflation, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued guidance for tax filers. Based upon an October 2022 IRS News Release, there have been more than 60 adjustments in conjunction with its yearly inflation alterations. Highlights of inflation adjustments include increasing the married couples’ standard deduction for 2023 by $1,800 to $27,700. Another highlight of inflation adjustments includes raising the threshold for the highest tax rate of 37 percent for individual taxpayers to an income higher than $578,125 or $693,750 if two married individuals are filing jointly.

However, there are certain things that are not subject to indexing for inflation. This includes permitting unlimited itemized deductions and maintaining the personal exemption at zero for the 2023 tax year – codified into law by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) amount used by joint filers to determine the reduction in the Lifetime Learning Credit (§25A(d)(2)) is not inflation adjusted for the taxable year (post-Dec. 31, 2020).

When it comes to the topic of inflation, while the United States experienced monthly inflation as high as 9.1 percent in 2022, there are considerations for economies and businesses operating in foreign jurisdictions where the rate of inflation is much higher for sustained periods of time (multiple years).

The International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), via International Accounting Standard IAS 29, explains how companies navigate financial statements if their primary currency used for commerce is the same legal tender experiencing hyperinflation in a particular economy, generally within a specific country. It also may be referred to as functional currency. IFRS generally looks at wages, pricing, and interest correlated with a price index increasing by at least 100 percent in aggregate over 36 months when determining if a company’s financial statements must be amended for economies with hyperinflation.

With PWC considering Argentina a hyperinflationary economy to entities whose functional currency is the Argentine peso, it’s considered so due to IAS 29. Specifically, IAS 29.3 details criteria when evaluating if indeed, an economy and its currency is experiencing hyperinflation. Select criteria include:

  • Residents of the subject jurisdiction attempting to preserve wealth via non-monetary assets or stable non-native currencies.
  • Business is indexed and transacted in non-native currencies with far lower rates of inflation.
  • When credit is the means of a transaction, it is priced at levels factoring in the expected debasement of the subject currency according to the time frame of the borrowing.

As of the 2019 publication, based on the 36-month lookback measuring inflation gauges and the IAS 29 evaluation criteria indicating hyperinflation, PWC determined the Argentina economy to be hyperinflationary. And according to IAS 29 standards, if a company’s primary legal tender it uses for commerce is the same as a country experiencing hyperinflation economic conditions, it must adhere to specific financial reporting standards.

Financial statements in hyperinflationary environments, according to IAS 29, that factor in relative details are required to be reported in the functional currency in up-to-date figures at the conclusion of the coverage time frame. When it comes to revising to current units of currency, businesses must use a general price index to account for inflationary changes. In addition to requiring a distinct declaration for a required business’ net monetary position, it must be reflected as proceeds or a decline in profits for the defined time frame.

The business must adhere to full disclosure, which includes transparency whereby financial statements have been restated, what price index the business relied upon to adjust for currency inflation considerations, and if the financial statements have been put together via historical or original costs versus current or fair value costs. The remaining requirement is that business results must assess its financial outcome and situation in its functional currency. Although according to IAS 21 guidelines, once financial results are restated, the restated functional currency can then be read in alternate forms of currency.

When it comes to inflation and the jurisdiction it occurs in, knowing the levels is important to help businesses account for times of normal and abnormally high levels. 


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