Government grants may take the form of non-monetary assets, such as land or other resources, given at concessional rates. In these circumstances, it is usual to account for such assets at their acquisition cost. Non-monetary assets given free of cost are recorded at a nominal value.
Presentation of Grants Related to Specific Fixed Assets
Two methods of presentation in financial statements of grants related to specific fixed assets are regarded as acceptable alternatives.
Under one method, the grant is shown as a deduction from the gross value of the asset concerned in arriving at its book value. The grant is thus recognised in the profit and loss statement over the useful life of a depreciable asset by way of a reduced depreciation charge. Where the grant equals the whole, or virtually the whole, of the cost of the asset, the asset is shown in the balance sheet at a nominal value.
Under the other method, grants related to depreciable assets are treated as deferred income which is recognised in the profit and loss statement on a systematic and rational basis over the useful life of the asset.
Grants related to non-depreciable assets are credited to capital reserve under this method, as there is usually no charge to income in respect of such assets. However, if a grant related to a non- depreciable asset requires the fulfillment of certain obligations, the grant is credited to income over the same period over which the cost of meeting such obligations is charged to income. The deferred income is suitably disclosed in the balance sheet after ‘Reserves and Surplus’ but before ‘Secured Loans’ with a suitable description, e.g., ‘Deferred government grants’.