Impairment testing cash generating unit with leases (or impairment of leased assets) is about a right-of-use asset (leased asset) and such an asset will frequently be included in a cash generating unit to be tested for impairment. At initial recognition, the right-of-use-asset equals the recognised lease liability, plus any lease payments made at or before the commencement date, less any lease incentives received, plus any initial direct costs incurred by the lessee and an estimate of costs to be incurred by the lessee in dismantling and removing the underlying asset and restoring the site on which the leased asset is located.
The most significant part of the right-of-use asset will often be the lease liability, which is the present value of the lease payments discounted at the interest rate implicit in the lease if this rate is readily determinable, or otherwise at the lessee’s incremental borrowing rate.
Therefore, the discount rate applied to determine the lease liability can have a significant effect on the carrying amount of the right-of-use asset at initial recognition. If the value in use is determined in an impairment test mechanically, ignoring the lease liability and related lease payments from both the carrying amount and the value in use of the cash generating unit, the following effects will occur when compared with the value in use with operating leases under IAS 17:
- The carrying amount of the cash generating unit will increase by the net present value of the future lease payments discounted at the IFRS 16 rate.
- The value in use of the cash generating unit will increase by the net present value of the future lease payments discounted at the discount rate used under IAS 36.
These two effects will usually have an offsetting effect. As a result, generally, there will be a limited effect on the impairment test, i.e., the amount of headroom or impairment calculated will not be substantially different.
However, if the IAS 36 discount rate (for example, a discount rate based on the weighted average cost of capital (WACC)) exceeds the IFRS 16 discount rate (for example, the lessees’ incremental borrowing rate), this will have a net negative impact on the results of the impairment test as the carrying amount of the cash generating unit will increase more than the value in use of the cash generating unit.