Fixed assets consist of tangible fixed assets, intangibles and investments.
No planned amortisation may be taken on the investments or on land, but all other
assets must be depreciated over their useful lives. The tax rules contain
guidelines for determining the useful lives of various types of assets and these
are often followed in the statutory accounts, if only for simplicity.
Under the Commercial Code, goodwill should be amortised over a maximum of five years,
unless there is a good reason for taking a longer period. However, the tax rules
allow a deduction for goodwill amortisation straight-line over a 15-year period.
Under certain conditions internally-generated intangible assets such as
software may be capitalised as a matter of company accounting policy.
However reserves equal to the book value of such assets (net of any deferred tax) may not