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Involuntary disposal of a depreciating asset

Last updated 31 May 2005

An involuntary disposal occurs if a depreciating asset is:

  • lost or destroyed
  • compulsorily acquired by an Australian government agency, or
  • disposed of to an Australian government agency after negotiations

after 11.45am (by legal time in the ACT) on 21 September 1999.

You may offset an assessable balancing adjustment amount arising from an involuntary disposal against the cost of one or more replacement assets. If you offset an amount against the cost of a replacement asset for an income year after the one in which the replacement asset's start time occurs, you must also reduce the sum of its opening adjustable value plus any second elements of its cost for that later year.

You must incur the expenditure on the replacement asset, or start to hold it, no earlier than one year before the involuntary disposal and no later than one year after the end of the income year in which the disposal occurred.

The Commissioner can agree to extend the time limit.

To offset the assessable balancing adjustment amount, the replacement asset must be wholly used for a taxable purpose and you must be able to deduct an amount for it.

Roll-over relief

If roll-over relief is available under the UCA rules, no balancing adjustment amount arises when a balancing adjustment event occurs for a depreciating asset.

In some cases, roll-over relief is automatic-for example, transfers pursuant to a court order following a marriage breakdown.

In some cases, roll-over relief must be chosen-if the event arises from a variation in the constitution of a partnership or in a partnership interest, the transferor and the transferee must jointly choose the roll-over relief.

When roll-over relief applies, the transferee of the depreciating asset can claim deductions for the asset's decline in value as if there had been no change in holding.

The transferee must use the same method as the transferor used to work out the decline in value of the asset.

If the transferor used the diminishing value method, the transferee must also use the same effective life that the transferor was using.

If the transferor used the prime cost method, the transferee must replace the asset's effective life in the prime cost formula with the asset's remaining effective life-that is, any period of the asset's effective life that is yet to elapse when the transferor stopped holding the asset.

The first element of cost for the transferee is the adjustable value of the asset when it was held by the transferor-just before the balancing adjustment event occurred.

There are specific record keeping requirements for roll-over relief see Roll-over relief.