Indian Accounting Standard (Ind AS) 37 : Provisions, Contingent Liabilities and Contingent Assets

 
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Objective

The objective of this Standard is to ensure that appropriate recognition criteria and measurement bases are applied to provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets and that sufficient information is disclosed in the notes to enable users to understand their nature, timing and amount.

Scope

1. This Standard shall be applied by all entities in accounting for provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets, except:

(a) those resulting from executory contracts, except where the contract is onerous; and

(b) [Refer to Appendix 1]

(c) those covered by another Standard.

2. This Standard does not apply to financial instruments (including guarantees) that are within the scope of Ind AS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement.

3. Executory contracts are contracts under which neither party has performed any of its obligations or both parties have partially performed their obligations to an equal extent. This Standard does not apply to executory contracts unless they are onerous.

4. [Refer to Appendix 1]

5. When another Standard deals with a specific type of provision, contingent liability or contingent asset, an entity applies that Standard instead of this Standard. For example, some types of provisions are addressed in Standards on:

(a) construction contracts (see Ind AS 11 Construction Contracts);

(b) income taxes (see Ind AS 12 Income Taxes);

(c) leases (see Ind AS 17 Leases). However, as Ind AS 17 contains no specific requirements to deal with operating leases that have become onerous, this Standard applies to such cases;

(d) employee benefits (see Ind AS 19 Employee Benefits); and

(e) insurance contracts (see Ind AS 104) Insurance Contracts). However, this Standard applies to provisions, contingent liabilities and contingent assets of an insurer, other than those arising from its contractual obligations and rights under insurance contracts within the scope of Ind AS 104.

6. Some amounts treated as provisions may relate to the recognition of revenue, for example where an entity gives guarantees in exchange for a fee. This Standard does not address the recognition of revenue. Ind AS 18 Revenue identifies the circumstances in which revenue is recognised and provides practical guidance on the application of the recognition criteria. This Standard does not change the requirements of Ind AS 18.

7. This Standard defines provisions as liabilities of uncertain timing or amount. The term provision is also used in the context of items such as depreciation, impairment of assets and doubtful debts: these are adjustments to the carrying amounts of assets and are not addressed in this Standard.

8. Other Standards specify whether expenditures are treated as assets or as expenses. These issues are not addressed in this Standard. Accordingly, this Standard neither prohibits nor requires capitalisation of the costs recognised when a provision is made.

9. This Standard applies to provisions for restructurings (including discontinued operations). When a restructuring meets the definition of a discontinued operation, additional disclosures may be required by Ind AS 105 Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations.

Definitions

10. The following terms are used in this Standard with the meanings specified:

A provision is a liability of uncertain timing or amount.

A liability is a present obligation of the entity arising from past events, the settlement of which is expected to result in an outflow from the entity of resources embodying economic benefits.

An obligating event is an event that creates a legal or constructive obligation that results in an entity having no realistic alternative to settling that obligation.

A legal obligation is an obligation that derives from:

(a) a contract (through its explicit or implicit terms);

(b) legislation; or

(c) other operation of law.

A constructive obligation is an obligation that derives from an entitys actions where:

(a) by an established pattern of past practice, published policies or a sufficiently specific current statement, the entity has indicated to other parties that it will accept certain responsibilities; and

(b) as a result, the entity has created a valid expectation on the part of those other parties that it will discharge those responsibilities.

A contingent liability is:

(a) a possible obligation that arises from past events and whose existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the entity; or

(b) a present obligation that arises from past events but is not recognised because:

(i) it is not probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation; or

(ii) the amount of the obligation cannot be measured with sufficient reliability.

A contingent asset is a possible asset that arises from past events and whose existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the entity.

An onerous contract is a contract in which the unavoidable costs of meeting the obligations under the contract exceed the economic benefits expected to be received under it.

A restructuring is a programme that is planned and controlled by management, and materially changes either:

(a) the scope of a business undertaken by an entity; or

(b) the manner in which that business is conducted.

Provisions and other liabilities

11. Provisions can be distinguished from other liabilities such as trade payables and accruals because there is uncertainty about the timing or amount of the future expenditure required in settlement. By contrast:

(a) trade payables are liabilities to pay for goods or services that have been received or supplied and have been invoiced or formally agreed with the supplier; and

(b) accruals are liabilities to pay for goods or services that have been received or supplied but have not been paid, invoiced or formally agreed with the supplier, including amounts due to employees (for example, amounts relating to accrued vacation pay). Although it is sometimes necessary to estimate the amount or timing of accruals, the uncertainty is generally much less than for provisions.

Accruals are often reported as part of trade and other payables, whereas provisions are reported separately.

Relationship between provisions and contingent liabilities

12. In a general sense, all provisions are contingent because they are uncertain in timing or amount. However, within this Standard the term contingent is used for liabilities and assets that are not recognised because their existence will be confirmed only by the occurrence or non-occurrence of one or more uncertain future events not wholly within the control of the entity. In addition, the term contingent liability is used for liabilities that do not meet the recognition criteria.

13. This Standard distinguishes between:

(a) provisions which are recognised as liabilities (assuming that a reliable estimate can be made) because they are present obligations and it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligations; and

(b) contingent liabilities which are not recognised as liabilities because they are either:

(i) possible obligations, as it has yet to be confirmed whether the entity has a present obligation that could lead to an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits; or

(ii) present obligations that do not meet the recognition criteria in this Standard (because either it is not probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation, or a sufficiently reliable estimate of the amount of the obligation cannot be made).

Recognition

Provisions

14. A provision shall be recognised when:

(a) an entity has a present obligation (legal or constructive) as a result of a past event;

(b) it is probable that an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits will be required to settle the obligation; and

(c) a reliable estimate can be made of the amount of the obligation.

If these conditions are not met, no provision shall be recognised.

Present obligation

15. In rare cases it is not clear whether there is a present obligation. In these cases, a past event is deemed to give rise to a present obligation if, taking account of all available evidence, it is more likely than not that a present obligation exists at the end of the reporting period.

16. In almost all cases it will be clear whether a past event has given rise to a present obligation. In rare cases, for example in a lawsuit, it may be disputed either whether certain events have occurred or whether those events result in a present obligation. In such a case, an entity determines whether a present obligation exists at the end of the reporting period by taking account of all available evidence, including, for example, the opinion of experts. The evidence considered includes any additional evidence provided by events after the reporting period. On the basis of such evidence:

(a) where it is more likely than not that a present obligation exists at the end of the reporting period, the entity recognises a provision (if the recognition criteria are met); and

(b) where it is more likely that no present obligation exists at the end of the reporting period, the entity discloses a contingent liability, unless the possibility of an outflow of resources embodying economic benefits is remote (see paragraph 86).

Past event

17. A past event that leads to a present obligation is called an obligating event. For an event to be an obligating event, it is necessary that the entity has no realistic alternative to settling the obligation created by the event. This is the case only:

(a) where the settlement of the obligation can be enforced by law; or

(b) in the case of a constructive obligation, where the event...

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