Non-current liabilities

Page written by AI. Reviewed internally on July 9, 2024.

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Non-current liabilities, also known as long-term liabilities, are obligations or debts that a company expects to settle or fulfil beyond the normal operating cycle, typically extending over a period longer than one year.

What are non-current liabilities?

These liabilities play a vital role in a company’s financial structure and reflect its long-term financial commitments.

Types of non-current liabilities:

  1. Long-term debt: This includes loans, bonds, and other financial instruments with repayment schedules spanning several years.
  2. Deferred tax liabilities: These arise due to temporary differences between accounting and tax rules. 
  3. Deferred revenue: This is revenue received in advance for goods or services that will be provided in the future.
  4. Pension obligations: Liabilities related to employee retirement benefits, including pensions and post-retirement healthcare.
  5. Lease obligations: Long-term lease agreements for assets like real estate or equipment.
  6. Contingent liabilities: These are potential obligations that arise from past events and will be confirmed only if certain future events occur. 

Non-current liabilities often involve the payment of interest. For instance, long-term debt incurs periodic interest payments in addition to the repayment of the principal.

Companies may choose to refinance or roll over their non-current liabilities by obtaining new loans or issuing new securities to repay existing ones. This is a common practice to manage long-term debt.

Non-current liabilities must be disclosed in a company’s financial statements, usually in the notes to the financial statements. This includes details about the nature, terms, and conditions of these liabilities.

Example of a non-current liability

Let’s consider a manufacturing company called “ABC Manufacturing” that obtains a long-term loan from a bank to finance the purchase of new machinery. The loan term is 5 years, and the company is required to make annual payments of £20,000 to repay the loan.

In this example, the long-term loan obtained by ABC Manufacturing would be classified as a non-current liability on the company’s balance sheet. This is because the loan obligation is not due for payment within the next accounting period, but rather over a longer period of time, beyond one year from the date of the balance sheet.

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