Effective life of intangible depreciating assets



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End of attention

The effective life of most intangible depreciating assets is prescribed under the UCA.


Effective life in years

1 Standard patent


2 Innovation patent


3 Petty patent


4 Registered design


5 Copyright

The shorter of 25 years from when you acquire it or the period until the copyright ends

6 A licence (except a copyright or in-house software)

The term of the licence

7 A licence relating to a copyright

The shorter of 25 years from when you become the licensee or the period until the licence ends

8 In-house software

9 Spectrum licence

The term of the licence

10 Datacasting transmitter licence


The effective life of an intangible depreciating asset listed in the table above cannot be self-assessed or recalculated.

The effective life of an indefeasible right to use an international telecommunications submarine cable system is the effective life of the international telecommunications submarine cable over which the right is granted.

The effective life of any other intangible depreciating asset is limited to the term of the asset as extended by any reasonably assured extension or renewal of that term.

If you acquire any of the intangible assets listed in the table above from a former holder (except items 5, 7 or 8) and you choose to calculate the asset's decline in value under the prime cost method, you must adjust the prime cost formula. Instead of using the effective life shown in the table above in the formula, you must use the number of years remaining in that effective life as at the start of the year you acquired the asset. For information on the prime cost method, the prime cost formula and the adjusted prime cost formula, see Methods of working out decline in value.

Last modified: 01 Jun 2005QC 27399