FASB Publishes Codification Improvements

FASB Releases ASU No. 2018-09, Codification Improvements

The FASB has released Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2018-09, Codification Improvements. ASU 2018-09 affects a wide variety of Topics in the FASB Accounting Standards Codification™. These include:

Amendments to Subtopic 220-10, Income Statement— Reporting Comprehensive Income—Overall

The guidance in paragraph 220-10-45-10B(b) states that taxes not payable in cash are required to be reported as a direct adjustment to paid-in capital. This requirement conflicts with other guidance in Topic 740, Income Taxes, Subtopic 805-740, Business Combinations—Income Taxes, and Subtopic 852-740, Reorganizations—Income Taxes, which generally states that income taxes and adjustments to those accounts upon a business combination or a bankruptcy that is eligible for fresh-start reporting must be recognized in income. ASU No. 2018-09 clarifies the guidance in paragraph 220-10-45-10B by removing the generic phrase taxes not payable in cash and adding guidance that is specific to certain quasi-reorganizations.

Amendments to Subtopic 470-50, Debt—Modifications and Extinguishments

The guidance in paragraph 470-50-40-2 requires that the difference between the reacquisition price of debt and the net carrying amount of extinguished debt be recognized in income in the period of extinguishment. The guidance in that paragraph was not amended by FASB Statement No. 155, Accounting for Certain Hybrid Financial Instruments, or FASB Statement No. 159, The Fair Value Option for Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities; therefore, it does not specifically address extinguishments of debt when the fair value option is elected. ASU No. 2018-09 clarifies that:

  1. When the fair value option has been elected on debt that is extinguished, the net carrying amount of the extinguished debt equals its fair value at the reacquisition date, and
  2. Related gains or losses in other comprehensive income must be included in net income upon extinguishment of the debt.

Amendments to Subtopic 480-10, Distinguishing Liabilities from Equity—Overall

The guidance in paragraph 480-10-25-15 prohibits the combination of freestanding financial instruments within the scope of Subtopic 480-10 with noncontrolling interest, unless the combination is required by Topic 815, Derivatives and Hedging. The example in paragraphs 480-10-55-55 and 480-10-55-59 conflicts with that guidance by stating that freestanding option contracts with the terms in Derivative 2 should be accounted for on a combined basis with the noncontrolling interest. The source of the example in paragraph 480-10-55-59 is from EITF Issue No. 00-4, “Majority Owner’s Accounting for a Transaction in the Shares of a Consolidated Subsidiary and a Derivative Indexed to the Noncontrolling Interest in That Subsidiary.” Issue 00-4 was nullified by FASB Statement No. 150, Accounting for Certain Financial Instruments with Characteristics of both Liabilities and Equity, but a conforming amendment to the example in paragraph 480-10-55-59 was not made to align it with the guidance in Statement 150. The amendment in this Update conforms the guidance in paragraphs 480-10-55-55 and 480-10-55-59 with the guidance in Statement 150.

Amendments to Subtopic 718-740, Compensation—Stock Compensation—Income Taxes

The guidance in paragraph 718-740-35-2, as amended, is unclear on whether an entity should recognize excess tax benefits (or tax deficiencies) for compensation expense that is taken on the entity’s tax return. The amendment to paragraph 718-740-35-2 in ASU No. 2018-09 clarifies that an entity should recognize excess tax benefits (that is, the difference in tax benefits between the deduction for tax purposes and the compensation cost recognized for financial statement reporting) in the period when the tax deduction for compensation expense is taken on the entity’s tax return. This includes deductions that are taken on the entity’s return in a different period from when the event that gives rise to the tax deduction occurs and the uncertainty about whether (1) the entity will receive a tax deduction and (2) the amount of the tax deduction is resolved.

Amendments to Subtopic 805-740, Business Combinations— Income Taxes

The amendments to paragraph 805-740-25-13 removes a list of three methods for allocating the consolidated tax provision to an acquired entity after acquisition that is inconsistent with guidance in Topic 740. The three methods for tax allocation described in paragraph 805-740-25-13 do not follow the broad principles of being systematic, rational, and consistent with Topic 740. The amendment removes the allocation methods in paragraph 805-740-25-13 and conforms the guidance in Subtopic 805-740 with the guidance in Topic 740.

Amendments to Subtopic 815-10, Derivatives and Hedging— Overall

The amendment to paragraphs 815-10-45-4 and 815-10-45-5 in ASU No. 2018-09 clarifies the circumstances in which derivatives may be offset. Under certain specific conditions, derivatives may be offset if three of the four criteria in paragraph 210-20-45-1 are met. One of the criteria—the intent to set off—is not required to offset derivative assets and liabilities for certain amounts arising from derivative instruments recognized at fair value and executed with the same counterparty under a master netting agreement.

Amendments to Subtopic 820-10, Fair Value Measurement— Overall

The amendments to paragraph 820-10-35-16D in ASU No. 2018-09 clarify the Board’s decisions about the measurement of the fair value of a liability or instrument classified in a reporting entity’s shareholder’s equity from the perspective of a market participant that holds an identical item as an asset at the measurement date. A technical inquiry questioned how transfer restrictions embedded in an asset should affect the fair value of the corresponding liability or equity instrument from the perspective of the issuer. The amendments correct the wording of paragraph 820-10-35-16D to clarify how an entity should account for those restrictions. The amendments are not intended to substantively change the application of GAAP. However, it is possible that the amendments may result in a change to existing practice for some entities.

The amendments to paragraphs 820-10-35-18D through 35-18F and 820-10-35- 18H through 35-18L revise the current guidance to allow portfolios of financial instruments and nonfinancial instruments accounted for as derivatives in accordance with Topic 815 to use the portfolio exception to valuation. The amendments improve guidance by adding wording that explicitly states that a group of financial assets, financial liabilities, nonfinancial items accounted for as derivatives in accordance with Topic 815, or a combination of these items that otherwise meet the criteria to do so are permitted to apply the portfolio exception for measuring fair value of the group. This allows entities to measure fair value on a net basis for those portfolios in which financial assets and financial liabilities and nonfinancial instruments are managed and valued together.

Amendments to Subtopic 940-405, Financial Services—Brokers and Dealers—Liabilities

Paragraph 940-405-55-1 contains incomplete guidance about offsetting on the balance sheet. The current guidance focuses only on explicit settlement dates as a determining criterion for offsetting when, in fact, an entity should consider all the requirements in Section 210-20-45, Balance Sheet—Offsetting—Other Presentation Matters, to determine whether a right of offset exists. There is similar guidance in paragraph 942-210-45-3. Paragraphs 940-405-55-1 and 942-210-45- 3 originated from two different AICPA Audit and Accounting Guides and paraphrase the guidance in Subtopic 210-20, albeit each slightly differently. The Board decided to amend both paragraphs so that the industry Topic guidance refers to the complete guidance for offsetting.

Amendments to Subtopic 962-325, Plan Accounting—Defined Contribution Pension Plans—Investments—Other

The amendment to Subtopic 962-325 removes the stable value common collective trust fund from the illustrative example in paragraph 962-325-55-17 to avoid the interpretation that such an investment would never have a readily determinable fair value and, therefore, would always use the net asset value per share practical expedient. Rather, a plan should evaluate whether a readily determinable fair value exists to determine whether those investments may qualify for the practical expedient to measure at net asset value in accordance with Topic 820.

Transition and Effective Date

The transition and effective date guidance is based on the facts and circumstances of each amendment. Some of the amendments in ASU No. 2018-09 do not require transition guidance and will be effective upon issuance of ASU No. 2018-09. However, many of the amendments do have transition guidance with effective dates for annual periods beginning after December 15, 2018, for public business entities.

In addition, there are some conforming amendments in ASU No. 2018-09 that have been made to recently issued guidance that is not yet effective that may require application of the transition and effective date guidance in the original ASU. For example, there are conforming amendments to Topic 820 and Subtopic 944-310, Financial Services—Insurance—Receivables, that are related to the amendments in Accounting Standards Update No. 2016-01, Financial Instruments—Overall (Subtopic 825-10): Recognition and Measurement of Financial Assets and Financial Liabilities, which require application of the transition and effective date guidance in that ASU.

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