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IAS 1 Amendments - Classification of liabilities


The objective of this project is to clarify when rights to defer settlement affect the classification of liabilities.

On 10 February 2015, the IASB published the ED/2005/1 Classification of Liabilities and requested comments by 10 June 2015. The proposed amendments were designed to improve presentation in financial statements by clarifying the criteria for the classification of a liability as either current or non-current. The proposed amendments intend to:

  • clarify that the classification of a liability as either current or non-current is based on the entity’s rights at the end of the reporting period; and
  • make clear the link between the settlement of the liability and the outflow of resources from the entity.

EFRAG’s Comment Letter

EFRAG published its draft comment letter on 24 March 2015 and its final comment letter on 22 June 2015.

In its final comment letter, EFRAG agreed with the IASB’s objective to clarify the requirements in IAS 1 Presentation of Financial Statements on classification of liabilities and remove some inconsistencies in the terms used in the Standard. In EFRAG’s view, the proposals in the ED were likely to result in greater consistency in applying the principles in IAS 1 and therefore in relevant financial information.

EFRAG also recommended, to avoid further diversity in practice, that the IASB provides additional guidance in situations where the rights to defer settlement of a liability are subject to conditions that occur and are assessed after the end of the reporting period and in situations where liabilities can be settled through the issuance of shares at the option of the counterparty.

Finally, EFRAG suggested that the IASB further explores whether current guidance always provides the most relevant information including in circumstances when rights to defer settlement are not substantive as of the reporting period. It seems most appropriate if the IASB looked at this issue as part of its ongoing activities in the Disclosure Initiative project.

On 29 July 2015, EFRAG published its feedback statement, summarising responses received to its draft comment letter, on the IASB's Exposure Draft.

Latest developments

At its December 2015 meeting, the IASB considered a summary of feedback on the Exposure Draft Classification of Liabilities (Proposed amendments to IAS 1). No decisions were made.

In response to requests by IASB members, the IASB staff expect to discuss at a future meeting analysis that:

  • tests the proposals against a number of specific transaction types raised in the comment letters; and
  • examines the guidance with respect to the transfer of equity as a means of settlement by using specific examples raised in the consultation.

At its February 2016 meeting, the IASB considered how its proposals should be applied when conditions in the lending agreement are tested or reviewed after the end of the reporting period.

At its April 2016 meeting, the IASB was informed that the remaining redeliberations of the comments will be held back until after the IASB has redeliberated the definitions of assets and liablities in the Conceptual Framework exposure draft. 

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