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ATO Interpretative Decision

ATO ID 2008/40 (Withdrawn)

Income Tax
Deductions: capital allowances - correction of cost

Attention This ATO ID is withdrawn. General guidance relating to the issue addressed in this ATO ID can be found in Guide to depreciating assets 2016 (NAT 1996, PDF 623KB). Information on correcting or amending a return can be found at Correct a mistake or amend a return.
Attention This document has changed over time. View its history.
FOI status: may be released
Status of this decision: Decision withdrawn 31 March 2017.

CautionCAUTION: This is an edited and summarised record of a Tax Office decision. This record is not published as a form of advice. It is being made available for your inspection to meet FOI requirements, because it may be used by an officer in making another decision.

This ATOID provides you with the following level of protection:

If you reasonably apply this decision in good faith to your own circumstances (which are not materially different from those described in the decision), and the decision is later found to be incorrect you will not be liable to pay any penalty or interest. However, you will be required to pay any underpaid tax (or repay any over-claimed credit, grant or benefit), provided the time limits under the law allow it. If you do intend to apply this decision to your own circumstances, you will need to ensure that the relevant provisions referred to in the decision have not been amended or repealed. You may wish to obtain further advice from the Tax Office or from a professional adviser.


Issue

If an understatement in the first element of cost of a depreciating asset is discovered, is the opening adjustable value of the asset recalculated under section 40-85 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997) for all affected income years using the correct cost of the asset?

Decision

Yes. The opening adjustable value of the asset is recalculated for all affected income years because the cost of the asset is corrected for the understatement and the adjustable value of a depreciating asset at a particular time, worked out under section 40-85 of the ITAA 1997, is ultimately based on the cost of the asset.

Facts

The taxpayer purchases a depreciating asset and uses it wholly to produce assessable income.

The acquisition cost of the asset is understated in the taxpayer's accounts.

The taxpayer claims deductions for decline in value of the depreciating asset based on the understated cost for several income years.

The understatement of the cost of the depreciating asset is discovered when a balancing adjustment event occurs for the asset.

The taxpayer needs to establish the adjustable value of the asset at the time of the balancing adjustment event to work out the amount of their balancing adjustment amount.

The time allowed by section 170 of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 1936) to amend the taxpayer's assessment for the income year in which they acquired the depreciating asset and for some of the income years in which they claimed decline in value deductions has expired.

Reasons for Decision

For a depreciating asset that has been used or installed ready for use for any purpose, the adjustable value of the asset at a particular time is defined in subsection 40-85(1) of the ITAA 1997 as:

(b)
 for a time in the income year in which you first use it or have it installed ready for use, for any purpose - its cost less its decline in value up to that time; or
(c)
 for a time in a later income year - the sum of its *opening adjustable value for that year and any amount included in the second element of its cost for that year up to that time, less its decline in value for that year up to that time.

The opening adjustable value of a depreciating asset for an income year is its adjustable value at the end of the previous income year (subsection 40-85(2) of the ITAA 1997).

The cost on which the adjustable value of the depreciating asset is based is worked out under Subdivision 40-C of the ITAA 1997.

Under subsection 40-180(1) of the ITAA 1997, the first element of cost is worked out as at the time when you begin to hold the depreciating asset. Subsection 40-180(1) of the ITAA 1997 provides that the first element of cost is the amount specified in the last applicable item in the table in subsection 40-180(2) of the ITAA 1997 or, if no item in the table applies, the amount you are taken to have paid to hold the depreciating asset under section 40-185 of the ITAA 1997. No item in the table in subsection 40-180(2) of the ITAA 1997 applies in this case.

Paragraph 40-185(1)(b) of the ITAA 1997 provides that you are taken to have paid an amount to hold a depreciating asset in the circumstances specified in the table in subsection 40-185(1) of the ITAA 1997. Item 1 of the table specifies that if you pay an amount, the amount you are taken to have paid to hold a depreciating asset is the amount so paid.

In this case, the taxpayer pays an amount to hold the depreciating asset. Despite the fact that the taxpayer incorrectly records the amount that they paid and works out deductions for decline in value based on the understated amount, the first element of cost of the asset is the amount actually paid by the taxpayer.

The formulae for working out the decline in value of an asset under the diminishing value and prime cost methods are contained in sections 40-70 and 40-72 of the ITAA 1997 (diminishing value method) and section 40-75 of the ITAA 1997 (prime cost method). In either case, the decline in value is worked out by reference to the asset's cost.

The adjustable value of a depreciating asset at a particular time, worked out under section 40-85 of the ITAA 1997, is ultimately based on the cost of the asset.

It follows that if the cost of the asset is understated, all of the decline in value and opening adjustable value figures worked out based on the incorrect cost are also understated.

Therefore, if an understatement in the first element of cost of a depreciating asset is discovered, the figures recorded as the decline in value and the opening adjustable value of the asset for each income year from the time that the asset started to be used or installed ready for use are corrected by being recalculated using the corrected cost of the asset.

Note, this recalculation is done even if it is not possible to amend the assessment for an income year (or years) to reflect the recalculated decline in value of the asset because the time allowed by section 170 of the ITAA 1936 for amendment has been exceeded.

Date of decision: 31 January 2008

Year of income:Year ending 30 June 2007

Legislative References:
Income Tax Assessment Act 1936
   section 170

Income Tax Assessment Act 1997
   section 40-70
   section 40-72
   section 40-75
   section 40-85
   section 40-180
   section 40-185
   subdivision 40-C

Keywords
Adjustable value of a depreciating asset
Cost of a depreciating asset
Depreciating assets
Second element of cost
Uniform capital allowances system

Siebel/TDMS Reference Number: 5785848;1-AVWQ46Q

Business Line: Small Business/Individual Taxpayers

Date of publication: 7 March 2008

ISSN: 1445-2782

ATO ID 2008/40 (Withdrawn) history   Top  
   Date   Version 
   31 January 2008   Original statement   
 You are here ®  31 March 2017   Withdrawn   


 


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