Single balance sheet
A single balance sheet is a balance sheet that simultaneously fulfills commercial and tax law purposes. The items in the trade balance and the tax accounts are identical. Activation options under commercial law are exercised in order to comply with the tax law activation obligation, and commercial law passivation options are also not exercised in order to comply with the tax law passivation prohibitions ( principle of relevance ).
If legal accounting or valuation regulations enforce differences between the commercial and tax balance sheets, a single balance sheet cannot be drawn up. The tax valuations are to be presented in a separate tax balance sheet or in an ancillary calculation (also known as the 60-II invoice), cf. (2) sentence 1 EStDV. The ancillary calculation according to § 60 Abs. 2 EStDV is not to be confused with off-balance sheet corrections such as B. the addition of trade tax or other non-deductible business expenses (Section 4 (5) EStG). In contrast to off-balance sheet corrections, the correction calculation in accordance with Section 60 (2) EStDV affects not only the tax profit, but also important tax points of reference such as tax equity or the amount of withdrawals and deposits.
However, in practice it is only possible to draw up a uniform balance sheet for smaller companies. In the case of larger companies, there are regularly compelling deviations between commercial and tax law, particularly when it comes to the recognition and valuation of provisions. The use of special tax depreciation according to § 7g EStG for small and medium-sized companies cannot be presented in the context of a commercial balance sheet or a single balance sheet. In addition, the annual financial statements under commercial law published by merchants are usually intended to paint a more positive image of the company for (potential) investors, lenders and other stakeholders (which is often associated with a higher profit statement than in the tax balance sheet). This is achieved by making use of the scope for assessing the balance sheet and valuation . The same is true in Switzerland.