17. April 2020

IASB intends to amend IFRS 16 in the short term and postpone amendments to IAS 1 already adopted

The IASB met by video conference on 17 April 2020 to discuss urgent issues related to the coronavirus pandemic. The main decisions of this meeting are:

Short-term amendment to IFRS 16 Leases regarding lessee-accounting for rent concessions in the context of the coronavirus pandemic
Against the background of rent concessions currently observable in many countries, IFRS 16 is to be amended to grant lessees an exemption, limited to 2020, from the assessment of whether a rent concession relating to the coronavirus pandemic is to be classified as a lease modification. The application of this optional exemption results in accounting for these rent concessions as if they were not a modification of the lease. This eliminates the need for the reporting entity to review all leases, to make a legal assessment of the rent concession against the background of the respective contract clauses and to revise discount rates.

The exemption shall be effective as soon as the final amendment is issued by the IASB. In order to complete this process on a timely basis (by the end of May if possible), the Board will ask the IFRS-Trustees to approve a comment period of only 14 days for the Exposure Draft with the proposed amendment.

Note: No changes to the accounting of lessors are intended. 

Effective date of the amendments to IAS 1 Classification of Liabilities as Current or Non-Current
It is intended to postpone the effective date by one year, i.e. to annual reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2023. Therefore, an Exposure Draft will be published, likely at the beginning of May, with a 30-day comment period.

In addition, various changes to the IASB’s timetable have been agreed in response to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic:
The comment periods for the following consultation documents will be extended by approximately three months:

(a) the Exposure Draft General Presentation and Disclosures;
(b) the Request for Information Comprehensive Review of the IFRS for SMEs Standard; and
(c) the Discussion Paper Business Combinations—Disclosures, Goodwill and Impairment.

The publication of forthcoming consultation documents, scheduled for 2020, is also postponed in principle.