Proposed Amendments to IAS 37

Date recorded:

The Board considered proposed amendments to the definitions of contingent assets and contingent liabilities in IAS 37 Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets. The Board reaffirmed its decision from an earlier meeting that the definition of contingent asset should be amended to read:

'a conditional right that arises from past events from which future economic benefits may flow based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the entity'.

The Board discussed at length the implications of these changes for the definition of a contingent liability. Particularly the Board considered what occurrence should be regarded as having given rise to the obligation - for example in the case of a lawsuit, is it the occurrence of the incident, or the filing of the suit? The Board also considered the conceptual merits of recognising contingent liabilities in business combinations where they would not be recognised in the absence of a change in ownership. The Board agreed to continue its deliberations of this matter at future meetings, including the issue of what is the appropriate accounting where there is more than one condition on which the existence of an actual liability depends.

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