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Hire purchase agreements

Last updated 7 April 2020

For income tax purposes, certain hire purchase agreements entered into after 27 February 1998 are treated as notional sale and loan transactions.

If the goods subject to the hire purchase agreement are depreciating assets and the hirer is the holder of the depreciating assets - see Depreciating assets subject to hire purchase agreements - the hirer may be entitled to deductions for the decline in value. Generally, the cost or value stated in the hire purchase agreement or the arm's length value is taken to be the cost of the depreciating assets.

Death of the holder

If a depreciating asset starts being held by you as a legal personal representative (say, as the executor of an estate) as a result of the death of the former holder, the cost of the asset to you is generally its adjustable value on the day the former holder died.

If the former holder allocated the asset to a low-value pool, the cost of the asset to you is so much of the closing balance of the pool for the income year in which the former holder died that is reasonably attributable to the asset - see Low-value pools for information about low-value pools.

If you start to hold a depreciating asset because it passes to you as a beneficiary of an estate or as a surviving joint tenant, the cost of the asset to you is its market value when you started to hold it reduced by any capital gain that was ignored when the owner died or when it passed from the legal personal representative. See the Guide to capital gains tax 2005 (NAT 4151-6.2005) for information about when these gains can be disregarded.