Directors’ loans under FRS 102

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The treatment of directors’ loans under FRS 102 still causes an element of confusion for some practitioners and was an area which was amended as part of the Financial Reporting Council’s triennial review of UK GAAP.

Steve Collings addresses some of the areas causing confusion where such loans are concerned.

Company law disclosures

At the outset, it is worth noting that section 413 of the Companies Act 2006 requires information about directors’ advances, credit and guarantees. The details required of an advance or credit are:

  1. its amount;
  2. an indication of the interest rate;
  3. its main conditions;
  4. any amounts repaid;
  5. any amounts written off; and
  6. any amounts waived.

The details required of a guarantee are:

  1. its main terms;
  2. the amount of the maximum liability that may be incurred by the company (or its subsidiary); and
  3. any amount paid and any liability incurred by the company (or its subsidiary) for the purpose of fulfilling the guarantee (including any loss incurred by reason of enforcement of the guarantee).

Directors’ loans to a small company

The FRC made amendments to FRS 102, Section 11 Basic Financial Instruments as part of the triennial review of UK GAAP. While the majority of the triennial review amendments apply mandatorily for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2019, this particular amendment is available for early adoption separately without having to early adopt FRS 102 (March 2018).

The amendment provides an exemption for small companies and LLPs only which allows such entities to measure loans from a director, or their group of close family members when that group contains at least one shareholder at transaction price instead of imputing a market rate of interest and measuring the loan at present value. FRS 102, paragraph 11.13A states:

As an exception to paragraph 11.13, the following financing transactions may be measured initially at transaction price:
  1. a basic financial liability of a small entity that is a loan from a person who is within a director’s group of close family members [author’s note: in this context, a director’s group of close family members shall be the director and the close members of the family of that director (see glossary definition of close members of the family of a person]. This includes a person who is the sole director-shareholder of an entity) when that group contains at least one shareholder [author’s note: For small LLPs this shall be read as a member who is a person] in the entity; and
  2. a public benefit entity concessionary loan (see paragraph PBE11.1A).
The above exemption does not apply to loans from the company to the director; nor does it apply to intra-group loans.

A loan from a director who is not a shareholder, and has no close family members that are shareholders, will not qualify for the exemption.

In a lot of cases, a director’s loan (whether it be to or from the company) may not be formally structured with loan terms. In these instances, the loan will be repayable on demand and hence must be presented as a current asset or current liability at (typically) their nominal value.

Related party disclosure requirements

Small companies applying the disclosure requirements in FRS 102, Section 1A Small Entities are only required to provide particulars of material transactions with directors which have not been concluded under normal market conditions. Where a material loan from a director has been provided to the small entity at, say, a below market rate of interest or interest free, the loan will be caught by the related party disclosure requirements in FRS 102, paragraph 1AC.35 and the related party disclosures must include:

  • the amount of the transaction;
  • the nature of the related party relationship (the names of the transacting related parties need not be disclosed as FRS 102 only requires the nature of the related party relationship); and
  • other information regarding the transaction necessary for an understanding of the financial position of the entity.

Structured loans (non-small entity)

Where a loan has been provided at below market rates of interest, or at zero rates of interest, FRS 102 would normally require the loan to be initially recorded at the present value of the future payments discounted at a market rate of interest for a similar debt instrument and subsequently measured at amortised cost under FRS 102, Section 11.

In these circumstances, it will be necessary to impute a market rate of interest and discount the loan to present value as shown in the following example:

Example: Loan containing formal terms

On 1 January 2018, a medium-sized company provides an interest-free loan to a director-shareholder of £50,000. The terms of the loan state that the loan is repayable in three years. The market rate of interest for a similar loan is 7%.

Under Section 11 of FRS 102, the amortised cost method is applied. The loan is initially recognised in the company’s books at its present value of £40,815 (£50,000 / 1.073). The loan is then profiled as follows:

Year Opening balance

£

Interest at 7%

£

Cash flow

£

Closing balance

£

2018 40,815 2,857 - 43,672
2019 43,672 3,057 - 46,729
2020 46,729 3,271 (50,000) -

The double entry is as follows:

On inception of the loan

                                                                           £

Dr Loan debtor                                                           40,815

Dr Distribution (equity – see below)                          9,185

Cr Bank                                                         50,000

Being initial recognition of loan

End of 2018

Dr Loan debtor                                                             2,857

Cr Interest income                                        2,857

Being interest income under the amortised cost method

The same entries apply for the interest income of £3,057 in 2019 and £3,271 in 2020.

Redemption in 2020

 

Dr Bank                                                       50,000

Cr Loan debtor                                                            50,000

Being repayment of loan

The measurement difference of £9,185 is taken to equity as a distribution. TECH 02/17BL at paragraph 2.6A states that an undervalue transaction with a shareholder is capable of being a distribution because it involves in substance an element of gift to the transferee. In other words, the director is benefiting by receiving a loan at a rate of interest which is below market rate.

However, TECH 02/17BL, paragraph 2.6A then goes on to confirm that the state of mind of those orchestrating an undervalue transaction may be relevant. In this respect, the company may wish to seek legal advice.

Interest free loan to the company

If the loan in the example above was the other way around (i.e. a loan to the company from the director-shareholder), the measurement difference would be credited equity, i.e.:

                                                                          £

Dr Bank                                                                     50,000

Cr Capital contribution (equity)                               9,185

Cr Loan payable                                                        40,815

TECH 02/17BL states that the credit to equity and the interest expense are not realised profits or losses. The capital contribution could be taken to either retained profits or a separate component of equity (a capital contribution reserve). If a separate capital contribution reserve is used, the company might wish to make an annual transfer from the capital contribution reserve to retained earnings (profit and loss reserves) of an amount equal to the interest expense recognised under the amortised cost method, but this is not required by FRS 102.

Conclusion

Care must be taken with the application of FRS 102, paragraph 11.13A because it only relates to loans from a director to a small company/LLP (or from a group of the director’s close family members when that group contains at least one shareholder). It is not the other way around (i.e. loan from the company to the director) nor does the exemption apply to intra-group loans.

In other cases, it will be necessary to impute a market rate of interest and discount the loan to present value. FRS 102 is silent on how the difference between the nominal value and the present value should be accounted for. However, in most cases the application of the amortised cost method will see the measurement difference unwinding through profit and loss as a finance charge (finance income) over the life of the loan. 

About Steven Collings

collings

Steve Collings, FMAAT FCCA is the audit and technical partner at Leavitt Walmsley Associates Ltd where Steve trained and qualified.

Replies

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avatar
By GR
18th Dec 2018 22:06

Great article.

Does anyone use Iris Accounts Production software?

If so, what account code is equity/distribution/capital contribution?

Is it the dividend account of 471/1?

I am assuming this distribution/dividend can be ignored for personal tax return purposes?

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19th Dec 2018 10:17

Helpful article, thank you.

I have been on update courses where the lecturer has argued that interest free loans from a company to directors of small OMB's is normal and hence related party disclosure is not required as the loan is under normal market conditions.

What are you views on that?

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to Ian Black
19th Dec 2018 11:03

You should have a formal loan agreement. charge 3% to match HMRC rate and ensure the director pays the actual £interest to the company and its not just added to his loan account in the books.

If you don't then you get a p11d benefit and then you have to pay NI on it and that's a waste.

The loan accounts are repayable on demand Creditors due less than one year and there is no double entry like steve suggested above and it keeps everything simple.

If there is double entry like steve suggested above and its not been done and you are auditing it. Invoke the great god of materiality... wins every time ...like rock in rock paper scissors.

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19th Dec 2018 11:04

Many family loans to companies are arranged because no commercial lender would engage in one. So what rate is commercial? I suppose that one might assume that there would be some Sharks-R-Us outfit that would lend on several quadzillion % and use that rate. All a bit pointless in my opinion. If a loan is made at 0% then surely a true and fair view is ...0%.

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19th Dec 2018 11:54

I am old enough to remember the debates on Inflation Accounting years ago that came to nothing.
For the majority of small companies that we all deal with this is just rubbish and needs repealing asap.

Thanks (2)
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to Greenslades
19th Dec 2018 13:49

I couldnt agree more. Nice for the academics and accounting nerds who are more interested in pontificating instead of concentrating on looking after thier clients interests.

I have a suggestion on how to deal with this latest FRS- ignore it!.

Thanks (1)
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By DMBAcc
to Trethi Teg
19th Dec 2018 14:38

I tend to do the same thing (ignore it that is) however if a sole director/owner draws down more than his opening P&L reserve (because he needs the money let's say and he is having a good year). I used to convert the difference into a directors loan which was then repaid (by declaring a dividend) on the first day of the new accounting year. Is this now a definite NO NO?

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to Trethi Teg
20th Dec 2018 09:38

Trethi Teg wrote:

I couldnt agree more. Nice for the academics and accounting nerds who are more interested in pontificating instead of concentrating on looking after thier clients interests.

I have a suggestion on how to deal with this latest FRS- ignore it!.

While I am not a fan of FRS 102 either or all the change we have seen, how can you be looking after your clients interests if you ignore it? If my solicitor said to me that they were going to ignore something that had to be done I’d be thinking twice about using their services. I asked on a recent update course of all this would go away once we leave the EU and the lecturer said it’s highly unlikely.

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By ldcldc
19th Dec 2018 16:28

I have to agree. Just ignore it and it will go away. Most little companies have DCA's in credit. And , as for IRIS, there's a section in data screens, notes to financial statements where you can put the opening and closing balances etc. And then it comes down to "who cares ?"

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19th Dec 2018 17:27

For loans by a small company to its directors or associated persons, is there not an exception that travel/subsistence advances up to £10,000 can be made with no interest charges, providing disclosed.

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By Tayo
23rd Dec 2018 12:54

Well explained.

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01st Jan 2019 14:03

The problem is that 'market rate' of interest can essentially be whatever you want it to be. Anything between 0.001% that you get from bank deposits and Wonga rates. This makes the whole exercise meaningless. It was suggested by the speaker at a recent seminar that as long as you charge a positive rate of interest, however small, you do not need to worry about present values.

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