IFRS 16 Appendix B – Lessor lease classification

Application Guidance to paragraphs 61 – 66

B53 The classification of leases for lessors in this Standard is based on the extent to which the lease transfers the risks and rewards incidental to ownership of an underlying asset. Risks include the possibilities of losses from idle capacity or technological obsolescence and of variations in return because of changing economic conditions. Rewards may be represented by the expectation of profitable operation over the underlying asset’s economic life and of gain from appreciation in value or realisation of a residual value.

B54 A lease contract may include terms and conditions to adjust the lease payments for particular changes that occur between the inception date and the commencement date (such as a change in the lessor’s cost of the underlying asset or a change in the lessor’s cost of financing the lease). In that case, for the purposes of classifying the lease, the effect of any such changes shall be deemed to have taken place at the inception date.

B55 When a lease includes both land and buildings elements, a lessor shall assess the classification of each element as a finance lease or an operating lease separately applying paragraphs 62–66 and B53–B54. In determining whether the land element is an operating lease or a finance lease, an important consideration is that land normally has an indefinite economic life.

B56 Whenever necessary in order to classify and account for a lease of land and buildings, a lessor shall allocate lease payments (including any lump-sum upfront payments) between the land and the buildings elements in proportion to the relative fair values of the leasehold interests in the land element and buildings element of the lease at the inception date. If the lease payments cannot be allocated reliably between these two elements, the entire lease is classified as a finance lease, unless it is clear that both elements are operating leases, in which case the entire lease is classified as an operating lease.

B57 For a lease of land and buildings in which the amount for the land element is immaterial to the lease, a lessor may treat the land and buildings as a single unit for the purpose of lease classification and classify it as a finance lease or an operating lease applying paragraphs 62–66 and B53–B54. In such a case, a lessor shall regard the economic life of the buildings as the economic life of the entire underlying asset.

Sublease classification

B58 In classifying a sublease, an intermediate lessor shall classify the sublease as a finance lease or an operating lease as follows:

  1. if the head lease is a short-term lease that the entity, as a lessee, has accounted for applying paragraph 6, the sublease shall be classified as an operating lease.
  2. otherwise, the sublease shall be classified by reference to the right-of-use asset arising from the head lease, rather than by reference to the underlying asset (for example, the item of property, plant or equipment that is the subject of the lease).