FASB issued ASU 2018-11, which contains targeted improvements to Topic 842 Leases. Among the targeted improvements are a transitional method for reporting during the adoption period and clarification on separating components of a contract for lessors as they relate to FASB's new revenue guidance Topic 606 Revenue from Contracts with Customers. Topic 842 significantly alters current lease accounting under US GAAP. The new standard removes the current approach of classifying leases as either capital or operating leases.
Tax reform provides an opportunity for simplification and tax relief for "small" businesses. Under the Act, a small business is defined as a taxpayer with average gross receipts during the previous three tax years of $25,000,000 or less. The $25,000,000 limit will be indexed for years after 2018. So what are qualifying taxpayers eligible for?
As many companies work towards completing implementation of ASC Topic 606 (Revenue from Contracts with Customers), differing methods of accounting could be required for financial reporting vs. tax reporting. For annual reporting periods beginning after Dec. 15, 2018 (or beginning after Dec. 15, 2017 for publicly-traded entities), an entity must recognize revenue for promised goods and services to customers for financial reporting purposes in an amount that reflects the consideration to which the entity expects to be entitled in exchange for those goods and services under a five-step model.
The effective date of the new lease accounting standard, Accounting Standard Update (ASU) No. 2016-02, Leases (Topic 842), is quickly approaching with an effective date for fiscal years ending after Dec. 15, 2018 and Dec. 15, 2019 for public and non-public companies respectively. ASU 2016-02 is the first major change in lease accounting in over 30 years following the issuance of Statement of Financial Accounting Standards (SFAS) No. 13 in 1976 . Working towards convergence with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) and generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP), and greater transparency are a couple of the major driving forces behind the new standard.
Recently, FASB issued ASU No. 2017-11, which changed the accounting for down round features and indefinite deferrals.