ato logo
Search Suggestion:

Effective life of intangible depreciating assets

Last updated 31 May 2005

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


Effective life in years

  1. Standard patent


  1. Innovation patent


  1. Petty patent


  1. Registered design


  1. Copyright

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

  1. A licence (except one relating to a copyright or in-house software)

The term of the licence

  1. A licence relating to a copyright

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

  1. In-house software

  1. Spectrum licence

The term of the licence

  1. Datacasting transmitter licence


The effective life of an intangible depreciating asset listed in the table 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 cannot be longer than 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 (except items 5, 7 or 8) from a former holder and you choose to calculate the asset's decline in value using the prime cost method, you must replace the effective life shown in the table in the formula with the number of years remaining in that effective life as at the start of the income year you acquired the asset.