FASB Issues Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases

FASB Issues Improvements to New Leases Standard 

The FASB has issued Accounting Standards Update (ASU) No. 2018-10, Codification Improvements to Topic 842, Leases.

 ASU No. 2018-10, among other things, amends Topic 842 as follows:

Issue 1: Residual Value Guarantees

Paragraph 460-10-60-32  in Topic 460, Guarantees, incorrectly refers readers to the guidance in Topic 842 about sale-leaseback-sublease transactions, when, in fact, it should refer readers to the guidance about guarantees by a seller-lessee of the underlying asset’s residual value in a sale and leaseback transaction. The amendment corrects the cross-reference in paragraph 460-10-60-32.

Issue 2: Rate Implicit in the Lease

The amendment clarifies that a rate implicit in the lease of zero should be used when applying the definition of the term “rate implicit” in the lease results in a rate that is less than zero.

Issue 3: Lessee Reassessment of Lease Classification

The amendment consolidates the requirements about lease classification reassessments into one paragraph and better articulates that an entity should perform the lease classification reassessment on the basis of the facts and circumstances, and the modified terms and conditions, if applicable, as of the date the reassessment is required.

Issue 4: Lessor Reassessment of Lease Term and Purchase Option

The amendment clarifies that a lessor should account for the exercise by a lessee of an option to extend or terminate the lease or to purchase the underlying asset as a lease modification unless the exercise of that option by the lessee is consistent with the assumptions that the lessor made in accounting for the lease at the commencement date of the lease (or the most recent effective date of a modification that is not accounted for as a separate contract).

Issue 5: Variable Lease Payments That Depend on an Index or a Rate

The amendment clarifies that a change in a reference index or rate upon which some or all of the variable lease payments in the contract are based does not constitute the resolution of a contingency subject to the guidance in paragraph 842-10-35-4(b). Variable lease payments that depend on an index or a rate should be remeasured, using the index or rate at the remeasurement date, only when the lease payments are remeasured for another reason (that is, when one or more of the events described in paragraph 842-10-35- 4(a) or (c) occur or when a contingency unrelated to a change in a reference index or rate under paragraph 842-10-35-4(b) is resolved).

Issue 6: Investment Tax Credits

There is an inconsistency in terminology used about the effect that investment tax credits have on the fair value of the underlying asset between the definition of the term rate implicit in the lease and the lease classification guidance in paragraph 842-10-55-8. The amendment removes that inconsistency by clarifying that the period covered by a lessor-only option to terminate the lease is included in the lease term.

Issue 7: Lease Term and Purchase Option

The description in paragraph 842-10-55- 24 about lessor-only termination options is inconsistent with the description in paragraph 842-10-55- 23 about the noncancellable period of a lease. The amendment removes that inconsistency by clarifying that the period covered by a lessor-only option to terminate the lease is included in the lease term.

Issue 8: Transition Guidance for Amounts Previously Recognized in Business Combinations

The transition guidance for lessors in paragraph 842-10-65-1(h)(3) is unclear because it relates to leases classified as direct financing leases or sales-type leases under Topic 840, while the lead-in sentence to paragraph 842-10-65-1(h) provides transition guidance for leases classified as operating leases under Topic 840. The amendment clarifies that paragraph 842-10-65-1(h)(3) applies to lessors for leases classified as direct financing leases or sales-type leases under Topic 842, not Topic 840. In other words, paragraph 842- 10-65-1(h)(3) applies when an entity does not elect the package of practical expedients in paragraph 842-10-65-1(f), and, for a lessor, an operating lease acquired as part of a previous business combination is classified as a direct financing lease or a sales-type lease when applying the lease classification guidance in Topic 842. The amendment also cross-references to other transition guidance applicable to those changes in lease classification for lessors.

Issue 9: Certain Transition Adjustments

The amendments clarify whether to recognize a transition adjustment to earnings rather than through equity when an entity initially applies Topic 842 retrospectively to each prior reporting period.

Issue 10: Transition Guidance for Leases Previously Classified as Capital Leases under Topic 840

Paragraph 842-10-65-1(r) provides guidance to lessees for leases previously classified as capital leases under Topic 840 and classified as finance leases under Topic 842. Paragraph 842-10-65-1(r)(4) provides subsequent measurement guidance before the effective date when an entity initially applies Topic 842 retrospectively to each prior reporting period, but it refers readers to the subsequent measurement guidance in Topic 840 about operating leases. It should refer them to the subsequent measurement guidance applicable to capital leases. The amendment corrects that reference.

Issue 11: Transition Guidance for Modifications to Leases Previously Classified as Direct Financing or Sales-Type Leases under Topic 840

Paragraph 842-10-65-1(x) provides transition guidance applicable to lessors for leases previously classified as direct financing leases or sales-type leases under Topic 840 and classified as direct financing leases or sales-type leases under Topic 842. For modifications to those leases beginning after the effective date, paragraph 842-10-65-1(x)(4) refers readers to other applicable guidance in Topic 842 to account for the modification, specifically paragraphs 842-10-25-16 through 25- 17, depending on how the lease is classified after the modification. Stakeholders noted that it should refer to how the lease is classified before the modification to be consistent with the guidance provided in paragraphs 842-10-25-16 through 25-17. The amendment corrects that inconsistency.

Issue 12: Transition Guidance for Sale and Leaseback Transactions

The amendments clarify that the transition guidance on sale and leaseback transactions in paragraph 842-10-65-1(aa) through (ee) applies to all sale and leaseback transactions that occur before the effective date and corrects the referencing issues noted.

Issue 13: Impairment of Net Investment in the Lease

Paragraph 842-30-35-3 provides guidance to lessors for determining the loss allowance of the net investment in the lease and describes the cash flows that should be considered when the lessor determines that loss allowance. Stakeholders questioned whether the guidance, as written, would accelerate and improperly measure the loss allowance because the cash flows associated with the unguaranteed residual asset appear to be excluded from the evaluation. The amendment clarifies the application of the guidance for determining the loss allowance of the net investment in the lease, including the cash flows to consider in that assessment.

Issue 14: Unguaranteed Residual Asset

The amendment clarifies that a lessor should not continue to accrete the unguaranteed residual asset to its estimated value over the remaining lease term to the extent that the lessor sells substantially all of the lease receivable associated with a direct financing lease or a sales-type lease, consistent with Topic 840.

Issue 15: Effect of Initial Direct Costs on Rate Implicit in the Lease

The ordering of the illustration in Case C of Example 1 in paragraphs 842-30-55- 31 through 55-39 raised questions about how initial direct costs factor into determining the rate implicit in the lease for lease classification purposes for lessors only. The amendment more clearly aligns the illustration to the guidance in paragraph 842-10-25-4.

Issue 16: Failed Sale and Leaseback Transaction

The amendment clarifies that a sellerlessee in a failed sale and leaseback transaction should adjust the interest rate on its financial liability as necessary to ensure that the interest on the financial liability does not exceed the total payments (rather than the principal payments) on the financial liability. This clarification is also reflected in the relevant illustration on failed sale and leaseback transactions that is contained in Subtopic 842-40.

Effective Date

The amendments in ASU No. 2018-10 affect the amendments in ASU No. 2016-02, which are not yet effective, but for which early adoption upon issuance is permitted. For entities that early adopted Topic 842, the amendments are effective upon issuance of ASU No. 2018-10, and the transition requirements are the same as those in Topic 842. For entities that have not adopted Topic 842, the effective date and transition requirements will be the same as the effective date and transition requirements in Topic 842.

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