Tentative Agenda Decision and comment letters: Sale and Leaseback with Variable Payments (IFRS 16)

 

The IFRS Interpretations Committee (Committee) discussed the following matter and tentatively decided not to add it to its standard-setting agenda. The Committee will reconsider this tentative decision, including the reasons for not adding the matter to its standard-setting agenda, at a future meeting. The Committee invites comments on its tentative agenda decision. All comments will be on the public record and posted on our website unless a responder requests confidentiality and we grant that request. We do not normally grant such requests unless they are supported by good reason, for example, commercial confidence.

Tentative agenda decision

The Committee received a request about a sale and leaseback transaction with variable payments. In the transaction described in the request:

  1. an entity (seller-lessee) enters into a sale and leaseback transaction whereby it transfers an item of property, plant and equipment (PPE) to another entity (buyer-lessor) and leases the asset back for five years.
  2. the transfer of the PPE satisfies the requirements in IFRS 15 Revenue from Contracts with Customers to be accounted for as a sale of the PPE. The amount paid by the buyer-lessor to the seller-lessee in exchange for the PPE equals the PPE’s fair value at the date of the transaction.
  3. payments for the lease (which are at market rates) include variable payments, calculated as a percentage of the seller-lessee’s revenue generated using the PPE during the five year lease term. The seller-lessee has determined that the variable payments are not in substance fixed payments as described in IFRS 16.

The request asked how, in the transaction described, the seller-lessee measures the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback, and thus determines the amount of any gain or loss recognised at the date of the transaction.

The Committee observed that the requirements applicable to the transaction described in the request are in paragraph 100 of IFRS 16. Paragraph 100 states that ‘if the transfer of an asset by the seller-lessee satisfies the requirements of IFRS 15 to be accounted for as a sale of the asset: (a) the seller-lessee shall measure the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback at the proportion of the previous carrying amount of the asset that relates to the right of use retained by the seller-lessee. Accordingly, the seller-lessee shall recognise only the amount of any gain or loss that relates to the rights transferred to the buyer-lessor…’.

Consequently, to measure the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback, the seller-lessee determines the proportion of the PPE transferred to the buyer-lessor that relates to the right of use retained—it does so by comparing, at the date of the transaction, the right of use it retains via the leaseback to the rights comprising the entire PPE. IFRS 16 does not prescribe a method for determining that proportion. In the transaction described in the request, the seller-lessee could determine the proportion by comparing, for example, (a) the present value of expected payments for the lease (including those that are variable), to (b) the fair value of the PPE at the date of the transaction.

The gain or loss the seller-lessee recognises at the date of the transaction is a consequence of its measurement of the right-of-use asset arising from the leaseback. Because the right of use the seller-lessee retains is not remeasured as a result of the transaction (it is measured as a proportion of the PPE’s previous carrying amount), the amount of the gain or loss recognised relates only to the rights transferred to the buyer-lessor. Applying paragraph 53(i) of IFRS 16, the seller-lessee discloses gains or losses arising from sale and leaseback transactions.

The seller-lessee also recognises a lease liability at the date of the transaction, even if all the payments for the lease are variable and do not depend on an index or rate. The initial measurement of the lease liability is a consequence of how the right-of-use asset is measured— and the gain or loss on the sale and leaseback transaction determined—applying paragraph 100(a) of IFRS 16.

Illustrative example

Seller-lessee enters into a sale and leaseback transaction whereby it transfers an asset (PPE) to Buyer-lessor, and leases that PPE back for five years. The transfer of the PPE satisfies the requirements in IFRS 15 to be accounted for as a sale of the PPE.

The carrying amount of the PPE in Seller-lessee’s financial statements at the date of the transaction is CU1,000,000, and the amount paid by Buyer-lessor for the PPE is CU1,800,000 (the fair value of the PPE at that date). All the payments for the lease (which are at market rates) are variable, calculated as a percentage of Seller-lessee’s revenue generated using the PPE during the five-year lease term. At the date of the transaction, the present value of the expected payments for the lease is CU450,000. There are no initial direct costs.

Seller-lessee determines that it is appropriate to calculate the proportion of the PPE that relates to the right of use retained using the present value of expected payments for the lease. On this basis, the proportion of the PPE that relates to the right of use retained is 25%, calculated as CU450,000 (present value of expected payments for the lease) ÷ CU1,800,000 (fair value of the PPE). Consequently, the proportion of the PPE that relates to the rights transferred to Buyer-lessor is 75%, calculated as (CU1,800,000 - CU450,000) ÷ CU1,800,000.

Applying paragraph 100(a), Seller-lessee:

  1. measures the right-of-use asset at CU250,000, calculated as CU1,000,000 (previous carrying amount of the PPE) × 25% (proportion of the PPE that relates to the right of use it retains).
  2. recognises a gain of CU600,000 at the date of the transaction, which is the gain that relates to the rights transferred to Buyer-lessor. This gain is calculated as CU800,000 (total gain on sale of the PPE (CU1,800,000 – CU1,000,000)) × 75% (proportion of the PPE that relates to rights transferred to Buyer-lessor).

At the date of the transaction, Seller-lessee accounts for the transaction as follows:

Dr. Cash 

CU1,800,000

 

Dr. Right-of-use asset

CU250,000

 

Cr. PPE

 

CU1,000,000

Cr. Lease liability

  CU450,000

Cr. Gain on rights transferred 

CU600,000

 

The Committee concluded that the principles and requirements in IFRS 16 provide an adequate basis for an entity to determine, at the date of the transaction, the accounting for the sale and leaseback transaction described in the request. Consequently, the Committee [decided] not to add the matter to its standard-setting agenda.

The deadline for commenting on the proposals was 13 May 2020. The Committee will consider all comments received in writing by that date; agenda papers analysing comments received will include analysis only of comments received by that date.


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