Amortisation and depreciation
Intangible fixed assets are amortised straight-line over their useful lives. Often
these can be objectively determined, such as in the case of patents and
trademarks with a specific expiry date.
Goodwill is amortised over 15 years.
Investments may be neither written down nor regularly amortised with tax
effect. Land is also not subject to regular amortisation, although it may, in
rather unusual circumstances, be written down to a lower fair market value.
Buildings constructed under planning permission applied for on or after April 1,
1985 are amortised at 3%, although different rules apply to older buildings.
Movable fixed assets are depreciated straight-line, in theory over their
estimated useful lives. The Ministry of Finance publishes guidelines, the so-
called depreciation tables, listing its estimates of the useful lives of movable
fixed assets of different types as used in different industries. These tables are for
guidance only and it is open to a taxpayer to argue that his actual or intended
use of the assets concerned justifies a shorter depreciation period.
Items purchased or commissioned during an accounting period are depreciated
at one-twelfth of the annual amount for each month of use.
Fixed assets, movable or otherwise, may be written down whenever a
permanent loss in value becomes apparent. There is, however, a write-back
requirement should the value subsequently appreciate above the level that
would have been reached had only ordinary, regular depreciation been