Deferred Charge: What it is, How it Works, Example

Thomas J Catalano is a CFP and Registered Investment Adviser with the state of South Carolina, where he launched his own financial advisory firm in 2018. Thomas’ experience gives him expertise in a variety of areas including investments, retirement, insurance, and financial planning. Deferred interest options are also available on mortgages, known as a deferred interest mortgage or a graduated-payment mortgage.

As an example of a deferred expense, ABC International pays $10,000 in April for its May rent. It defers this cost at the point of payment (in April) in the prepaid rent asset account. In May, ABC has now consumed the prepaid asset, so it credits the prepaid rent asset account and debits the rent expense account. When a company borrows money, either through a term loan or a bond, it usually incurs third-party financing fees (called debt issuance costs).

Deferred Expense, Understanding with Examples

Deferred Charges refer to costs paid in advance that are gradually recognized as expenses, while accrued expenses are costs incurred but not yet paid. The key distinction is in the timing of payment – deferred expenses involve prepayment, whereas accrued expenses involve recognition before payment. Assume that a newly formed company paid $600 on December 30 for liability insurance for the six months that begins on January 1.

  • GAAP accounting requires the calculation and disclosure of economic events in a specific manner.
  • In contrast, tax regimes are generally not similarly focused and often include aspects of tax policy that seek to incentivize certain behaviors.
  • In such cases, the company’s books need to reflect taxes paid by the company or money due to it.
  • In time, if no other reconciling events happen, the deferred income tax account would net to $0.
  • A company’s balance sheet is a financial statement that provides corporate personnel, investors, analysts, and other entities with important information about the financial health and well-being of a company.
  • It also may occur simply because of a difference in the time that a company pays its taxes and the time that the tax authority credits it.

This objective is met through the measurement of the basis difference in the book carrying value and tax basis of the enterprise’s underlying assets and liabilities. While there are limited exceptions, these differences in basis generally reverse as part of the enterprise’s normal course of operations according to well-established rules. Moreover, other differences may not reverse until the related asset is disposed of or otherwise impaired for book purposes (e.g., certain non-amortizing book intangible assets, such as a trade name). For example, basis differences may exist between the book carrying value and tax basis in an enterprise’s investments, such as the stock of a corporation. The reversal of such investments would generally not occur until the investment is sold or otherwise recovered. While the timing of recovery may vary, importantly, deferred taxes will reverse as the financial statement asset is recovered or the financial statement liability is settled in the normal course of business.

Deferred financing cost

Deferred income tax is considered a liability rather than an asset as it is money owed rather than to be received. If a company had overpaid on taxes, it would be a deferred tax asset and appear on the balance sheet as a non-current asset. A deferred income tax liability results from the difference between the income tax expense reported on the income statement and the income tax payable. If the tax rate for the company is 30%, the difference of $18 ($60 x 30%) between the taxes payable in the income statement and the actual taxes paid to the tax authorities is a deferred tax asset. A deferred tax asset might be compared to rent paid in advance or a refundable insurance premium. While the business no longer has the cash on hand, it does have its comparable value, and this must be reflected in its financial statements.

For this reason, the amount of depreciation recorded on a financial statement is usually different from the calculations found on a company’s tax return. Over the life of an asset, the value of the depreciation in both areas changes. At the end of the life of the asset, no deferred tax liability exists, as the total depreciation between the two methods is equal. However, without a deferred income tax liability account, a deferred income tax asset would be created. This account would represent the future economic benefit expected to be received because income taxes charged were in excess based on GAAP income. Concepts Statement 6 further states that debt issuance costs cannot be an asset because they provide no future economic benefit.

In addition to understanding how and when existing deferred tax assets and liabilities may reverse, it is important to consider valuation allowances that may reduce the carrying value of certain (or all) deferred tax assets. The recognition of a valuation allowance generally represents the conclusion that on a “more likely than not” basis, the enterprise will not be able to receive a cash tax benefit for certain or all of its deferred tax assets. This may result from uncertainties concerning future taxable profits in certain tax jurisdictions, as well as potential limitations that a tax authority may impose on the deductibility of certain tax benefits. As a company realizes its costs, they then transfer them from assets on the balance sheet to expenses on the income statement, decreasing the bottom line (or net income). The advantage here is that expenses are recognized, and net income is decreased, in the time period in which the benefit was realized instead of whenever they happened to be paid.

Non-Current Liabilities

The difference between the minimum payment and the interest due was the deferred interest, or negative amortization, which was added to the loan balance. You can find a firm’s balance sheet in its yearly Form 10-K filing, which also known as an “annual report.” Every public company must file this document with the U.S. Making the minimum payment means the deferred interest of $178.36 is added to the loan balance monthly. Typically, on deferred interest loans, if the balance is not fully paid off before the period ends, interest is backdated and charged on the entire, original balance, regardless of how much of the balance is left. For U.S. federal income tax purposes, DFC are generally amortized over the life of the debt using the straight-line method.


The expenditure is made in advance, and the item purchased is not expected to be fully consumed until a large number of reporting periods have passed. In this case, the deferred asset is more likely to be recorded as a long-term asset in the balance sheet. For instance, say an insurance company buys $10 million worth of corporate bonds.

Having said that, in my experience, most analysts tend to use the balances net of issuance costs as the difference is usually pretty small. This approach more accurately aligns the expense with the periods of benefit. The capitalization of interest involved when a company constructs its own building is also a deferred cost. The reason is that the interest will be added to the cost of the building and then depreciated over the life of the building—instead of being expensed immediately as interest expense. AP typically carries the largest balances, as they encompass the day-to-day operations. AP can include services, raw materials, office supplies or any other categories of products and services where no promissory note is issued.

If a derivative financial instrument does not qualify as a hedge, both realized, and unrealized changes in fair market value will be immediately reported on the income statement. As noted above, a company’s deferred long-term liability charges appear as one-line items on its balance sheet. Investors and financial professionals may need to know the exact nature of these obligations in order to evaluate the investment potential of a company. Short-term assets, also called “current assets,” are those that a company expects to sell or otherwise convert to cash within a year. If a company plans to hold an asset longer, it can convert it to a long-term asset on the balance sheet.