Capital Lease

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Capital Lease'

A lease considered to have the economic characteristics of asset ownership. A capital lease would be considered a purchased asset for accounting purposes. An operating lease, on the other hand, would be handled as a true lease, or rental, for accounting purposes. The choice of lease classification will have important results on a firm's financial statements. A lease falls into this category if any of the following requirements are met:

1. The life of the lease is 75% or greater of the assets useful life.

2. The lease contains a purchase agreement for less than market value.

3. The lessee gains ownership at the end of the lease period.

4. The present value of lease payments is greater than 90% of the asset's market value.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Capital Lease'

A capital lease is an example of accrual accounting's inclusion of economic events. Generally, companies have a choice of which type of lease they wish to use for accounting purposes, however, both types of leases provide specific advantages and disadvantages to financial statements. For example, companies wishing to show a higher return on asset ratios would choose an operating lease, as the balance sheet would not account for the item as an asset, thus reducing the denominator in the ratio.

VIDEO

Loading the player...
RELATED TERMS
  1. Shell Lease

    A commercial lease in which a tenant rents a property with an ...
  2. Renewal Option

    A clause in a lease that outlines the terms for renewing or extending ...
  3. Conditional Sales Agreement

    A lease agreement banks can offer to business customers that ...
  4. Percentage Lease

    A type of lease where the tenant pays a base rent plus a percentage ...
  5. True Lease

    A specific type of multi-year lease which does not pass on ownership ...
  6. Graduated Lease

    A type of long-term, typically for commercial property, lease ...
RELATED FAQS
  1. Why might a bond agreement limit the amount of assets that the firm can lease?

    Bond covenants can limit the amount of leases a company can have because leasing contracts are a form of debt. Taking on ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How do I calculate my effective tax rate using Excel?

    Your effective tax rate can be calculated using Microsoft Excel through a few standard functions and an accurate breakdown ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How important are contingent liabilities in an audit?

    Contingent liabilities, when present, are very important audit items because they normally represent risks that are easily ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does quantifying fixed overhead volume variance show whether a company is profitable ...

    Fixed overhead volume cannot definitively prove a company is profitable, but it can be used to provide an excellent indication ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What does inventory turnover tell an investor about a company?

    The inventory turnover ratio determines the number of times a company's inventory is sold and replaced over a certain period. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is a deferred tax liability?

    A deferred tax liability is an account that is listed on a company's balance sheet and occurs when its taxable income is ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Economics

    What is a Capital Lease?

    A lease considered to have the economic characteristics of asset ownership.
  2. Retirement

    The Essentials Of Corporate Cash Flow

    Tune out the accounting noise and see whether a company is generating the stuff it needs to sustain itself.
  3. Markets

    Operating Cash Flow: Better Than Net Income?

    Differences between accrual accounting and cash flows show why net income is easier to manipulate.
  4. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Uncovering Hidden Debt

    Understand how financing through operating leases, synthetic leases, and securitizations affects companies' image of performance.
  5. Options & Futures

    Advanced Financial Statement Analysis

    Learn what it means to do your homework on a company's performance and reporting practices before investing.
  6. Economics

    What are Noncurrent Assets?

    Noncurrent assets are property that a company owns that will last for more than one year.
  7. Investing Basics

    How Much Do CPAs Make?

    If you're considering becoming a CPA, here's what you might expect to earn.
  8. Economics

    Explaining Activity-Based Costing

    Activity-based costing (ABC) is a managerial accounting method that assigns certain indirect costs to the products incurring the bulk of those costs.
  9. Economics

    What is a Contra Account?

    A contra account is an offset that reduces the value of a related account.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    What is Quantitative Analysis?

    Quantitative analysis refers to the use of mathematical computations to analyze markets and investments.

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Yield Curve

    A line that plots the interest rates, at a set point in time, of bonds having equal credit quality, but differing maturity ...
  2. Productivity

    An economic measure of output per unit of input. Inputs include labor and capital, while output is typically measured in ...
  3. Variance

    The spread between numbers in a data set, measuring Variance is calculated by taking the differences between each number ...
  4. Terminal Value - TV

    The value of a bond at maturity, or of an asset at a specified, future valuation date, taking into account factors such as ...
  5. Rule Of 70

    A way to estimate the number of years it takes for a certain variable to double. The rule of 70 states that in order to estimate ...
  6. Risk Premium

    The return in excess of the risk-free rate of return that an investment is expected to yield. An asset's risk premium is ...
Trading Center