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.
A review of the proposed statement reveals nothing suggesting a near-term release of accounting guidance that would add clarity and specificity to the income statement reporting of debt extinguishment transactions.
The authors encourage FASB to continue pursuing its projects on financial reporting with all possible haste; however, they harbor no illusions that these projects can be completed in time to ensure that users will have what they need to confidently decipher the effects of any uptick in debt extinguishment gains reported on income statements in the years ahead.
The authors cannot help but note that the reporting problem described above is largely an artifact of the traditional, transactions-based reporting model; these gains and losses occur largely because of interest rate changes that then change the market value of the underlying debt, which changes go unrecognized until they are realized in a debt extinguishment transaction.
Per ASC 470-50-40-2, the gain or loss on extinguishment is computed as the difference between the reacquisition price and the net carrying amount of the debt on December 31, 2012, as follows:
Gain or Loss on Extinguishment of Debt Reacquisition price ($2,000,000 x 1.
repurchased a portion of its outstanding debt and incurred a loss on extinguishment of $85.
Similarly, an extinguishment exists in situations where debt is settled before maturity through an issuance of the debtor's common or preferred stock when a conversion privilege is not contained in the original debt instrument (ASC 470-5015-2).
If the difference is substantial, extinguishment accounting is applied to derecognize the old debt from the balance sheet and to record the new (or replacement) debt at its fair value.
Conversely, if the difference in the present value of cash flows between the new and original debt instruments is not substantially different, then modification accounting is applied on a prospective basis and no extinguishment is recognized (ASC 470-50-40-14).
If the creditor changes as a result of the transaction, extinguishment accounting is applicable.
Substantially Different Terms: Extinguishment Accounting Required