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Detailed overview of Sale and Leaseback Transactions

Nikhil Mogha

| Updated: Oct 04, 2022 | Category: CFO Service

and Leaseback transactions

The accounting standards for Sale and leaseback transactions are changed from Ind AS 17 to IndAS 116. Builders and companies generally use the arrangement of sale and leaseback with a high cost of fixed assets such as land, building, or expensive machinery. The company generally use this type of arrangement when they want to utilise the assets they have invested in for other purposes. Still, at the same time, they want to retain the property to operate their business. It can act as an alternative source of raising capital. This arrangement improves the company’s balance sheet by removing the debt and increasing the current asset (by way of cash or lease agreement).

What is a sale and Leaseback Transactions?

Sale and Leaseback transactions is mentioned under Ind AS 116[1]. It states that it is the arrangement whereby one party (seller-lessee) sells the assets he owns to another party (buyer-lessor) and simultaneously leases back the same asset. The seller—lessee transfers the legal ownership to the buyer-lessor in exchange for money and at the same time retains the possession of property subject to periodical payments by the seller-lessee. In general terms, the arrangement shall include two transactions:

  1. Sale of the asset
  2. Leaseback of the same asset to the seller-lessee

What is considered a sale under Ind AS-116?

To apply accounting treatments mentioned under Ind AS 116, it is necessary to determine whether the asset transaction between buyer-lessor and seller-lessee is considered a sale under Ind AS 115.

What are Sale and leaseback transactions under Ind As 116?

The sale and leaseback transactions are divided into two parts under Ind AS116:

  1. Transfer of the Asset is a Sale
  2. Transfer of the Asset is not a sale

A. Transfer of the asset is a sale

If the transfer of the asset by the Seller-lessee meets the requirements of Ind AS115 for recognising the transfer as a sale, then the accounting treatment of the transfer shall be:

1.      Accounting Treatment in the books of Seller-lessee

  1. The seller will derecognise the transferred asset from the books of account
  2. The seller shall measure the ROU (Right of Use) asset at the retained portion of the previous carrying amount (i.e. at cost).
  3. The seller shall only recognise those gains or losses related to the rights transferred to the buyer-lessor.
  4. The seller shall recognise a lease liability

2.      Accounting Treatment in the books of Buyer-lessor

  1. The buyer shall only account for the purchase value of the asset
  2. The buyer shall apply lease accounting standards requirements for the lease.

The accounting treatment for the sale of an asset depends on the consideration value. IND AS 116 provides two situations under which the adjustment is allowed to measure the sale proceeds at fair value.

  1. The fair value of the consideration for the sale of an asset is not equal to the fair value of the assets.
  2. Lease payments are not at market rates.

Further, the accounting treatment for sale proceeds shall be:

  1. Sale proceeds are lower than the fair value; the difference will be accounted for as “Pre-payment of Lease Payments.”
  2. Sale proceeds are higher than fair value; the difference will be accounted for as “additional Financing.”

If the entity wants to measure any potentialmeasurements under (Accounting Treatment in the books of Seller-lessee and Accounting Treatment in the books of Buyer-lessor), the same can be done through:

  1. Difference between the Fair value of consideration for the sale and the Fair value of an asset
  2. Difference between the present value of a contractual payment of lease andthe present value of a payment of lease at market rates.

B. Transfer of the asset is not a sale

If the transfer of the asset by the Seller-lessee meets the requirements of Ind AS115 for recognising the transfer as a sale, then the accounting treatment of the transfer shall be:

1.      Accounting Treatment in the books of Seller-lessee

  1. The seller shall continue to recognise the transferred assetin the books of account
  2. The seller shall recognise the financial liability as transfer proceeds by applying the accounting standards under Ind AS 109.

2.      Accounting Treatment in the books of Buyer-lessor

  1. The buyer shall not recognise the asset transferred
  2. The buyer shall identify the financial assets as transfer proceeds by applying the accounting standards under Ind AS 109.

Conclusion

The sale and leaseback transactions provide the company with the facility to raise capital and, at the same time, utilise the assets for fulfilling the objectives of the business by using the asset. The arrangement provides the regular cash flow of the income and reduces the financial liability of the company. The Indian accounting standards provide that the company shall not use any unfair means of accounting treatments to avoid any tax liability.

Read our Article: An Overview of Financial Lease Accounting in India

Nikhil Mogha

An Advocate by profession, Nikhil Mogha holds experience in the field of Business and Securities law. He has done his Masters of Law in Corporate Law from Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi. He is also versed with the drafting and research work in the field of Company Law, Banking Laws and Contract Laws.

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