Rescission of FASB Statements No. 4, 44, and 64, Amendment of FASB Statement No. 13, and Technical Corrections (Issued 4/02)
This Statement rescinds FASB Statement No. 4, Reporting Gains and Losses from Extinguishment of Debt, and an amendment of that Statement, FASB Statement No. 64, Extinguishments of Debt Made to Satisfy Sinking-Fund Requirements. This Statement also rescinds FASB Statement No. 44, Accounting for Intangible Assets of Motor Carriers. This Statement amends FASB Statement No. 13, Accounting for Leases, to eliminate an inconsistency between the required accounting for sale-leaseback transactions and the required accounting for certain lease modifications that have economic effects that are similar to sale-leaseback transactions. This Statement also amends other existing authoritative pronouncements to make various technical corrections, clarify meanings, or describe their applicability under changed conditions.
Reasons for Issuing This Statement
When Statement 4 was issued in 1975, the Board noted that the provisions of that Statement represented a “practical and reasonable solution to the question regarding income statement classification of gains or losses from extinguishment of debt until such time as the broader issues involved can be addressed” (paragraph 15). Since the issuance of Statement 4, the use of debt extinguishment has become part of the risk management strategy of many companies, particularly those operating in the secondary lending market. Debt extinguishments used as part of an entity’s risk management strategy represent one example of debt extinguishments that do not meet the criteria for classification as extraordinary items in APB Opinion No. 30, Reporting the Results of Operations—Reporting the Effects of Disposal of a Segment of a Business, and Extraordinary, Unusual and Infrequently Occurring Events and Transactions, and therefore, should not be classified as extraordinary. Statement 64 amended Statement 4 and is no longer necessary because Statement 4 has been rescinded.
Statement 44 was issued to establish accounting requirements for the effects of transition to the provisions of the Motor Carrier Act of 1980 (Public Law 96-296, 96th Congress, July 1, 1980). Those transitions are completed; therefore, Statement 44 is no longer necessary.
This Statement also amends Statement 13 to require sale-leaseback accounting for certain lease modifications that have economic effects that are similar to sale-leaseback transactions. This Statement also makes various technical corrections to existing pronouncements. Those corrections are not substantive in nature.
How the Changes in This Statement Improve Financial Reporting
Under Statement 4, all gains and losses from extinguishment of debt were required to be aggregated and, if material, classified as an extraordinary item, net of related income tax effect. This Statement eliminates Statement 4 and, thus, the exception to applying Opinion 30 to all gains and losses related to extinguishments of debt (other than extinguishments of debt to satisfy sinking-fund requirements—the exception to application of Statement 4 noted in Statement 64). As a result, gains and losses from extinguishment of debt should be classified as extraordinary items only if they meet the criteria in Opinion 30. Applying the provisions of Opinion 30 will distinguish transactions that are part of an entity’s recurring operations from those that are unusual or infrequent or that meet the criteria for classification as an extraordinary item.
Under Statement 13, the required accounting treatment of certain lease modifications that have economic effects similar to sale-leaseback transactions was inconsistent with the required accounting treatment for sale-leaseback transactions. This Statement amends paragraph 14(a) of Statement 13 to require that those lease modifications be accounted for in the same manner as sale-leaseback transactions. This amendment is in accordance with the Board’s goal of requiring similar accounting treatment for transactions that have similar economic effects.