Federal Register of Legislation - Australian Government

Primary content

Determinations/Taxation as made
This Determination amends the Income Tax (Effective Life of Depreciating Assets) Determination 2001 to provide taxpayers in specific industries and for specific assets with effective lives as a basis to calculate the decline in value (depreciation) of an asset for income tax purposes.
Administered by: Treasury
Made 06 May 2011
Registered 23 May 2011
Tabled HR 25 May 2011
Tabled Senate 15 Jun 2011
Date of repeal 09 Aug 2013
Repealed by Treasury (Spent and Redundant Instruments) Repeal Regulation 2013



Explanatory Statement



General Outline of Instrument

The authority for making an effective life determination is provided by subsection 40-100(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 1997).


The proposed Income Tax (Effective Life of Depreciating Assets) Amendment Determination 2011 (No 1) will be a legislative instrument for the purposes of the Legislative Instruments Act 2003.


Date of effect

This instrument applies from 1 July 2011.


What this instrument is about:

The instrument provides taxpayers in specific industries and for specific assets with effective lives as a basis to calculate the decline in value (depreciation) of an asset for income tax purposes.


What the effect of this instrument is:

Compliance cost impact:  Low.  The instrument will affect only a small proportion of businesses and confirms existing practice.  There is no ongoing compliance cost impact and a low implementation impact reflecting the need for some taxpayers to be aware of the change and make some minor adjustments to their processes.


The instrument provides taxpayers with a choice under the ITAA 1997, when measuring the decline in value (depreciation) of an asset, because a taxpayer can either use an effective life determined by the Commissioner, or work out (self-assess) their own effective life of an asset in accordance with section 40-105 of the ITAA 1997.


Effective lives determined by the Commissioner provide what is referred to as a “safe harbour” for taxpayers, as it provides certainty to taxpayers that these lives will be accepted by the Commissioner.



The policy of effective life depreciation came into effect on 1 July 1991. On 21 September 1999, accelerated depreciation was removed.


As part of that policy, the Government also endorsed the Review of Business Taxation’s recommendation that the Commissioner institute an ongoing revision of the effective life schedule (Recommendation 8.5 of A Tax System Redesigned).


The ATO has been undertaking a comprehensive review of the Commissioner’s determinations of effective life.  In doing so, the Commissioner consults with a number of key stakeholders, including taxpayers, industry associations, industry engineers and manufacturers of the assets.


The current review is the most comprehensive ever undertaken in terms of the information gathered and the consideration given to different factors.


Taxation Ruling 2011/2 explains the factors the Commissioner takes into account when making effective life determinations.  Those factors include commercial and technical obsolescence; to the extent it is predictable.  The review is not focusing on the physical life of assets to the exclusion of economic influences on effective life.


Ultimately, the Commissioner’s determinations must satisfy the question of how long the depreciating asset can be used by any entity for a taxable purpose.


The new determinations of effective life do not represent any change in policy.  They represent proper administration of the law.


The new determinations have been arrived at by a proper process.  An independent review panel has confirmed that sufficient consultation was undertaken. 



Notifications of the various reviews being conducted are listed on the ATO website with an invitation to participate in the reviews.


Draft effective lives are also published along with requests for feedback, and these drafts are also sent to key stakeholders, including industry participants and associations, for comment.  After considering the feedback, final effective lives are published in Taxation Ruling 2011/2 on the ATO website.


A review panel including representatives from the Corporate Tax Association, the Treasury, the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and the Australian Valuation Office is involved in reviewing the proposed effective lives. An Assistant Commissioner from the ATO is also on the review panel and is responsible for signing the legislative instrument. The involvement of review panel members ensures that a full consultative process has been carried out with key stakeholders when conducting effective life reviews.


The final effective lives are also sent to all taxpayers that participated in the review, and the determination is published on the ATO website.



Lyndall Joy Crompton

Assistant Commissioner,  Large Business and International

6th day of May 2011.


Related Rulings/Determinations:

-       TR 2007/3

-       TR 2008/4

-       TR 2009/4

-       TR 2010/2


Previous Rulings/Determinations:

-  TR 2000/18

- TR 2006/5

- TR 2006/15


Subject references:

- depreciation

- depreciation rates

- determination

- effective life


Legislative references:

-     Income Tax (Effective life of Depreciating Assets) Determination 2001

-     ITAA 1997  Div 40

-     ITAA 1997  Subdiv 40-E

-     ITAA 1997  Subdiv 40-F

-     ITAA 1997  40-70(1)

-     ITAA 1997  40-75(1)

-     ITAA 1997  40-95

-     ITAA 1997  40-100

-     ITAA 1997  40-100(4)

-     ITAA 1997  40-100(4)(b)

-     ITAA 1997  40-105(1)

-     ITAA 1997  40-110

-     ITAA 1997  Div 42

-     ITAA 1997  Subdiv 42-M

-     TAA 1953  Pt IVAAA

-     Taxation Laws Amendment Act (No. 4) 2002

-     Legislative Instruments Act 2003


Other References

-       Recommendation 8.5 of The Review of Business Taxation Report: A Tax System Redesigned