Offsetting prohibition

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Under a gross budget rule (or prohibition to offset ) is understood in the accounting , the legal prohibition , balance sheet items of the asset side with corresponding positions of the liabilities and positions of the profit and loss account as expenses and income to each charge .


Balance sheets and profit and loss accounts contain corresponding opposing variables such as receivables / liabilities or expenses / income, so that it makes sense to offset these against each other and only show the balance of the larger item. This would reduce the transparency of the annual financial statements , with the result that the balance sheet would no longer contain all inventory figures and the profit and loss account would no longer contain all flow figures . The Accounting Law prohibits this netting . The offsetting prohibition results from the general norm of § 264 HGB , which also expresses the principle of completeness ( balance sheet truth ). The gross principle is implemented through the offsetting prohibition .

Legal issues

The gross budget rule is in § 246 para 2 HGB by the phrase "may not" pronounced. "Asset-side item may not consist of liabilities, expenses not with income, land rights not to land loads will be charged." In Section 264, Paragraph 2, Clause 2 of the German Commercial Code (HGB), only one exception is permitted if certain assets have been withdrawn from access by creditors because they are intended to serve exclusively to meet debts from pension obligations or comparable long-term obligations. This includes the assets formed from pension provisions , such as pension reinsurance policies or certain financial assets . According to the prevailing opinion , an existing set-off situation according to Section 387 of the German Civil Code (BGB) is also permissible as an exception to the prohibition of set-off . Therefore, deferred tax assets and liabilities can be netted ( Section 274 (1) HGB). Individual value adjustments may be deducted from dubious claims at banks ( Section 340f (1) HGB). The international accounting leaves a settlement ( english offsetting ) only exceptionally to (IAS 1.32-5; 2003). According to this, a company may not offset assets and liabilities as well as income and expenses with one another, unless offset is prescribed or permitted by IFRS.

Legal consequences

The violation of the offsetting prohibition can lead to the invalidity of the annual financial statements according to Section 256 (4 ) AktG if their clarity and clarity are significantly impaired.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Norbert Horn (ed.) / Rainer Walz, Commentary on the Commercial Code (excluding maritime law). Third book. §§ 238-342a , Volume 3, 1999, § 246 Rn. 43
  2. Reinhold Adrian / Thomas Heidorn (eds.), Der Bankbetrieb , 2000, p. 732
  3. Norbert Horn (ed.) / Rainer Walz, Commentary on the Commercial Code (excluding maritime law). Third book. §§ 238-342a , Volume 3, 1999, § 246 Rn. 46