What is an intangible fixed asset?
Produced in partnership with Anne Fairpo of Temple Tax Chambers
What is an intangible fixed asset?

The following Tax practice note Produced in partnership with Anne Fairpo of Temple Tax Chambers provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • What is an intangible fixed asset?
  • Tax definition of intangible fixed asset
  • Accounting based definition of intangible asset
  • UK GAAP accounting definition
  • International accounting standards definition
  • Intellectual property
  • Goodwill
  • Other intangible assets
  • Fungible assets
  • Non-balance sheet assets

Part 8 of the Corporation Tax Act 2009 (CTA 2009) is a specific corporation tax regime that applies exclusively to the gains and losses of intangible fixed assets. Note, however, that certain intangible fixed assets are excluded from the regime, see Practice Note: Excluded intangible fixed assets.

Tax definition of intangible fixed asset

An intangible fixed asset is an intangible asset created or acquired by a company for use on a continuing basis in the course of the company’s activities.

As the asset must be used on a continuing basis, this will exclude intangible assets that are bought and sold by a company as trading stock (for example, a company dealing in media rights).

The definition includes any option (or similar right) to:

  1. acquire an intangible asset that would be a fixed asset if it were acquired, or

  2. dispose of a fixed asset

Such options and similar rights are excluded from the tax provisions governing derivative contracts.

There are specific exclusions from the definition of an intangible fixed asset and therefore from Part 8 of CTA 2009, for which see Practice Note: Excluded intangible fixed assets.

Accounting based definition of intangible asset

An intangible asset is defined for tax purposes as having the same meaning that it does for accounting purposes. In addition, it specifically includes internally generated intangible fixed assets, which will usually not be capitalised and so will not be

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