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Liability or equity? - A practical guide to the classification of financial instruments under IAS 32
When an entity issues a financial instrument, it must determine its classification either as a liability (debt) or as equity. That determination has an immediate and significant effect on the entity's reported results and financial position. Liability classification affects an entity's gearing ratios and typically results in any payments being treated as interest and charged to earnings.
Preparation of financial statements under International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) requires the application of IAS 12 Income Taxes (IAS 12). IAS 12 is not new. However, for many finance executives, the concepts underlying the computation of deferred tax are not intuitive.