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What is the difference between operating lease and financial lease?


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Answered 2013-11-24 22:39:33

A finance lease is a form of financing that transfers substantially all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership over a leased asset from the lessor to the lessee. By signing the contract and delivering the leased asset, the lessor transfers economic ownership over the leased asset, while legal ownership is transferred only upon the expiration of lease, on payment of the final instalment. In a finance lease, the lessee uses the leased asset for most of its lifecycle, as with loans.

An operating lease is a lease whereby all the risks and rewards incidental to ownership over the leased asset remain with the lessor. In this case, the lessor retains the economic and legal ownership over the leased asset, while the lessee has only right of use. Upon the expiration of contract, the leased asset is returned to the lessor. Under an operating lease, the lessee uses the leased asset for less than its useful life.

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What is the difference between operational lease and finance lease?

The key difference between a finance lease and an operating lease is whether the lessor (the legal owner who rents out the assets) or lessee (who uses the asset) takes on the risks of ownership of the leased assets. The classification of a lease (as an operating or finance lease) also affects how it is reported in the accounts. The differentiation is mostly important for accounting , taxation and financial reporting purposes.


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