Debt cap: group accounts: no consolidated financial statements prepared
Cases in which there are no group accounts
Where the worldwide group in question has not prepared consolidated financial statements for a particular period, TIOPA10/S348 provides that TIOPA10/Part 7 applies as if financial statements had been prepared for the period under international accounting standards (IAS).
If the period under review is more than 12 months, it is broken up into periods of 12 months or less in the same way as accounting periods, and notional accounts are deemed to be prepared for each of these sub-periods.
Section 348 was amended at the time section 348A was introduced so that if the group is only a worldwide group for part of the relevant period then section 348 applies as if financial statements are drawn up in respect of the part of the relevant period that the group was a worldwide group.
Q plc is a UK quoted company, which prepares consolidated accounts for itself and its subsidiaries, drawing up the accounts to 31 March each year. In June 2011, Q plc is taken into private ownership and de-listed. As part of this change, the shares in Q plc are acquired by a Jersey company, R Ltd (which has no other subsidiaries). R Ltd is 100% owned by a Luxembourg entity, S.
S meets the definition in Section 235 FISMA 2000 of a collective investment scheme, and therefore cannot be the ultimate parent of a group (CFM90270). The ultimate parent of the group is therefore R Ltd. Although Q plc continues to draw up group accounts to 31 March, R Ltd does not prepare consolidated accounts - it prepares individual accounts to 31 December (and these accounts are available to the directors of Q plc).
In order to apply the debt cap rules, Q plc and its subsidiaries must hypothesise that R Ltd has prepared consolidated accounts under international accounting standards, and derive the necessary figures from those notional accounts.
HMRC staff should be aware that this might involve considerable work in some cases, and should not be over-prescriptive in their approach. In this example, there would be no objection to Q plc continuing to apply the debt cap rules with respect to a 31 March accounting period. Furthermore, if Q plc’s consolidated accounts have been prepared under UK GAAP (including FRS 26), a consolidation under UK GAAP can be accepted as giving results not materially different from IFRS.