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Insights into IFRS 16 - Interim periods

How do you treat a variable lease payment in the financial
statements of an interim period?

IFRS 16 must first be applied to accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019, including interim periods beginning on or after that date. The application of IFRS 16 to those interim periods will broadly follow the requirements of IFRS 16 except in one key respect.

IFRS 16 requires a variable lease payment, provided it is not in-substance fixed or based on an index or rate, to be recognised in profit or loss in the period in which the triggering event or condition occurs. Therefore, you might assume that the same would apply in interim periods. In other words, a variable lease payment would only be recognised in the interim period in which the event that crystallises the payment occurs.

However, IAS 34.B7 requires a variable lease payment to be recognised if it is expected that the event will occur before the end of the current annual reporting period.

This appears to be a direct conflict between the two Standards.

In our view, when preparing a set of interim financial statements under IAS 34, the IAS 34 approach should be taken to ensure the interim financial statements are compliant with IAS 34. However, given the evident conflict, it is not possible to entirely rule out an IFRS 16 approach.