Tangible assets, intangible assets, non consumable biological assets and investment property, accounted for at the purchase cost, can be depreciated or amortized for tax purposes.
Generally, fixed assets are depreciated under the straight-line method. The declining-balance method may be used for new tangible assets other than buildings, automobiles not used for public transport or rental and office furniture.
Assets subject to depreciation whose unitary (acquisition or production) cost does not exceed EUR 1,000 can be written off in a single tax year, except where they form part of a set of elements that must be depreciated or amortized as a whole.
Where tangible fixed assets wear faster than normal, the depreciation rates are increased by a maximum of 25% for use in two shifts and by 50% for more intensive use. Additionally, accelerated depreciation may be allowed by the tax authorities.
Under the straight-line method, the maximum depreciation is established by applying to the (i) acquisition or production cost; (ii) the value resulting from revaluation for tax purposes; (iii) under certain circumstances, market value, and either the specific depreciation rates (for instance, assets used in farming, forestry or fisheries; mining or quarrying; manufacturing; construction or public works; energy or water; transportation or communications;) or the general rates (for other assets).
The general maximum straight-line depreciation rates include:
|Type of Asset||Rate (%)|
|computers and compressors||33.33 or 25|
|ordinary tools and fittings||25|
|engines and heavy machine tools||12.5|
|portable machine tools||20|
|motor vehicles||12.5, 14.28, 20 or 25|
The relevant depreciation rates may exceptionally be based on the expected useful life for: (i) assets acquired in a state of use; (ii) revalued assets for accounting purposes; (iii) major repairs and improvements; and (iv) improvements and works on third parties’ buildings and other constructions.
Under the declining-balance method, annual depreciation is determined by applying the rates applicable under the straight-line method, adjusted by the following coefficients: (i) 1.5, when the useful life is less than five years; (ii) 2 when the useful life is five or six years; and (iii) 2.5, when the useful life is higher than six years.