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HMRC internal manual

Business Leasing Manual

Lease accounting: lease classification: practical indicators

In practice the amount of lease rentals is the most commonly considered indicator for lease classification, but it is not conclusive. Other aspects of the lease terms may provide clues as to the classification of the lease, and the following are indicators that the lease may be a finance lease

  • where the agreement refers to implied rates of interest;
  • where rentals vary with changes in the lessor’s tax treatment, for example the rate of corporation tax or capital allowances on the leased asset;
  • where the lessee is responsible for maintenance and servicing of the leased asset;
  • where the agreement provides for the lessee to receive the benefit of any residual value of the asset.