Thursday, December 8, 2022

IFRS 5 — Non-current Assets Held for Sale and Discontinued Operations

  • IFRS 5 was issued in March 2004 and applies to annual periods beginning on or after 1 January 2005.
  • IFRS 5 outlines how to account for non-current assets held for sale (or for distribution to owners).
  • In general terms, assets (or disposal groups) held for sale are not depreciated, are measured at the lower of carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell and are presented separately in the statement of financial position.
  • Specific disclosures are also required for discontinued operations and disposals of non-current assets.

Key provisions of IFRS 5 relating to assets held-for-sale classification

In general, the following conditions must be met for an asset (or ‘disposal group’) to be classified as held for sale: [IFRS 5.6-8]

  • management is committed to a plan to sell
  • the asset is available for immediate sale
  • an active programme to locate a buyer is initiated
  • the sale is highly probable, within 12 months of classification as held for sale (subject to limited exceptions)
  • the asset is being actively marketed for sale at a sales price reasonable in relation to its fair value
  • actions required to complete the plan indicate that it is unlikely that plan will be significantly changed or withdrawn

The assets need to be disposed of through sale. Therefore, operations that are expected to be wound down or abandoned would not meet the definition (but may be classified as discontinued once abandoned). [IFRS 5.13]

An entity that is committed to a sale involving loss of control of a subsidiary that qualifies for held-for-sale classification under IFRS 5 classifies all of the assets and liabilities of that subsidiary as held for sale, even if the entity will retain a non-controlling interest in its former subsidiary after the sale. [IFRS 5.8A]


The following principles apply:

  • At the time of classification as held for sale. Immediately before the initial classification of the asset as held for sale, the carrying amount of the asset will be measured in accordance with applicable IFRSs. Resulting adjustments are also recognised in accordance with applicable IFRSs. [IFRS 5.18]
  • After classification as held for sale. Non-current assets or disposal groups that are classified as held for sale are measured at the lower of carrying amount or fair value less costs to sell (fair value less costs to distribute in the case of assets classified as held for distribution to owners). [IFRS 5.15-15A]
  • Impairment –Impairment must be considered both at the time of classification as held for sale and subsequently:
    • At the time of classification as held for sale. Immediately prior to classifying an asset or disposal group as held for sale, impairment is measured and recognised in accordance with the applicable IFRSs (generally IAS 16 Property, Plant and EquipmentIAS 36 Impairment of AssetsIAS 38 Intangible Assets, and IAS 39 Financial Instruments: Recognition and Measurement/IFRS 9 Financial Instruments). Any impairment loss is recognised in profit or loss unless the asset had been measured at revalued amount under IAS 16 or IAS 38, in which case the impairment is treated as a revaluation decrease.
  • After classification as held for sale. Calculate any impairment loss based on the difference between the adjusted carrying amounts of the asset/disposal group and fair value less costs to sell. Any impairment loss that arises by using the measurement principles in IFRS 5 must be recognised in profit or loss [IFRS 5.20], even for assets previously carried at revalued amounts. This is supported by IFRS 5 BC.47 and BC.48, which indicate the inconsistency with IAS 36.
  • Assets carried at fair value prior to initial classification. For such assets, the requirement to deduct costs to sell from fair value may result in an immediate charge to profit or loss.
  • Subsequent increases in fair value. A gain for any subsequent increase in fair value less costs to sell of an asset can be recognised in the profit or loss to the extent that it is not in excess of the cumulative impairment loss that has been recognised in accordance with IFRS 5 or previously in accordance with IAS 36. [IFRS 5.21-22]
  • No depreciation. Non-current assets or disposal groups that are classified as held for sale are not depreciated. [IFRS 5.25]


IFRS 5 requires the following disclosures about assets (or disposal groups) that are held for sale: [IFRS 5.41]

  • description of the non-current asset or disposal group
  • description of facts and circumstances of the sale (disposal) and the expected timing
  • impairment losses and reversals, if any, and where in the statement of comprehensive income they are recognised
  • if applicable, the reportable segment in which the non-current asset (or disposal group) is presented in accordance with IFRS 8 Operating Segments

Disclosures in other IFRSs do not apply to assets held for sale (or discontinued operations, discussed below) unless those other IFRSs require specific disclosures in respect of such assets, or in respect of certain measurement disclosures where assets and liabilities are outside the scope of the measurement requirements of IFRS 5.

IFRS 5 prohibits the retroactive classification as a discontinued operation, when the discontinued criteria are met after the end of the reporting period. [IFRS 5.12]

Disclosure in the statement of comprehensive income

The sum of the post-tax profit or loss of the discontinued operation and the post-tax gain or loss recognised on the measurement to fair value less cost to sell or fair value adjustments on the disposal of the assets (or disposal group) is presented as a single amount on the face of the statement of comprehensive income. If the entity presents profit or loss in a separate statement, a section identified as relating to discontinued operations is presented in that separate statement. [IFRS 5.33-33A].

CA Divya Thakkar
Chartered accountant | IIM Bangalore 7+years of experience in Consultancy, Investment Banking, Ecommerce & IT Industry. Expert in IFRS, USGAAP, INDAS & US Regulatory requirement. Currently working with Deloitte Touche & Company in Risk ,Finance & Control advisory. Worked in Companies like Barclays Bank, HCL Technologies Ltd & BazaarCart.

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