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IASB finalizes amendments to IAS 1 to clarify the classification of liabilities

  • IFRS - IASB Image

Jan 23, 2020

On January 23, 2020, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) issued "Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-Current (Amendments to IAS 1)" providing a more general approach to the classification of liabilities under IAS 1 based on the contractual arrangements in place at the reporting date.

 

Background

The issue was originally addressed as part of the annual improvements project 2010 -2012 cycle. Exposure Draft ED/2012/1 Annual Improvements to IFRSs (2010—2012 Cycle), published in May 2012, proposed amendments to IAS 1.73 to clarify that a liability is classified as non-current if an entity expects, and has the discretion, to refinance or roll over an obligation for at least twelve months after the reporting period under an existing loan facility with the same lender, on the same or similar terms. During 2013, however, the IASB decided not to finalise the amendment, but instead pursue a narrow-scope project to refine the existing guidance in IAS 1 on when liabilities should be classified as current.

In February 2015, the Board published its proposals in the Exposure Draft  ED/2015/1 Classification of Liabilities (Proposed amendments to IAS 1). The Board discussed feedback on the ED from December 2015 to September 2019, pausing the project between 2016 and 2018 while it finalised revisions to the definition of a liability in the Conceptual Framework. As a result of these discussions, the Board made no fundamental changes to the proposed amendments but decided to clarify some aspects of them.

 

Amendments

The amendments in Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-Current (Amendments to IAS 1) affect only the presentation of liabilities in the statement of financial position — not the amount or timing of recognition of any asset, liability income or expenses, or the information that entities disclose about those items. They:

  • clarify that the classification of liabilities as current or non-current should be based on rights that are in existence at the end of the reporting period and align the wording in all affected paragraphs to refer to the "right" to defer settlement by at least twelve months and make explicit that only rights in place "at the end of the reporting period" should affect the classification of a liability;
  • clarify that classification is unaffected by expectations about whether an entity will exercise its right to defer settlement of a liability; and
  • make clear that settlement refers to the transfer to the counterparty of cash, equity instruments, other assets or services.

 

 

Effective date and transition

The amendments are effective for annual reporting periods beginning on or after January 1, 2022 and are to be applied retrospectively. Earlier application is permitted.

 

Additional information

Review the press release on the IASB's website.

 

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