FASB simplifies presentation of debt issuance costs

The standard is designed to reduce unnecessary complexity.

FASB issued an Accounting Standards Update aimed at simplifying the presentation of debt issuance costs.

ASU No. 2015-03Interest—Imputation of Interest (Subtopic 835-30): Simplifying the Presentation of Debt Issuance Costs, requires that "debt issuance costs related to a recognized debt liability be presented in the balance sheet as a direct deduction from the carrying amount of that debt liability, consistent with debt discounts."

The standard is designed to reduce unnecessary complexity that was being created by different balance sheet presentation requirements for debt issuance costs and debt discount and premium.

FASB said that recognizing debt issuance costs as a deferred charge is different from guidance in IFRS, which requires that transaction costs be deducted from the carrying value of the financial liability and not recorded as separate assets.

The standard takes effect for public companies for financial statements issued for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015, and interim periods within those fiscal years. For private companies and not-for-profit organizations, the standard takes effect for fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2015, and interim periods within fiscal years beginning after Dec. 15, 2016. Early adoption is permitted.

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