The taxable income for a business is computed in accordance with the common business or accounting principles to which necessary tax adjustments in accordance with the ITA are required to be made.
Profits from the business are chargeable to tax on a receipt or accrual basis as per the accounting method adopted by the assessee. However, companies have to offer the profits to tax on an accrual basis as the Indian Companies Act does not allow them to follow the cash system of accounting. Principally, deductions are allowed for all business-related revenue expenses incurred during the fiscal year.
Capital expenses (other than those specifically allowed) and personal expenses are not deductible. The onus of proving that the expenditure has been incurred wholly and exclusively for the business is squarely on the company.
Furthermore, any expenditure that is considered against public policy is not allowable as a deduction. In the case of fixed assets, depreciation is available at prescribed rates and in accordance with the provisions of the ITA. Certain revenue expenditures that are necessary to bring the fixed asset into its existing condition have to be added to the cost of the fixed asset. Certain specified expenses are allowed only on the basis of actual payment irrespective of the accrual system of accounting followed by the company.
The following sections of this chapter cover some specific allowable and disallowable deductions in calculating taxable business profits.