Monday, March 4, 2013

Wear and Tear

South African Revenue Services (SARS) allows a business to write off the cost of assets purchased for business purposes over a number of years against taxable income. This allowance is referred to as wear and tear.

The number of years allowed to write off assets is contained in Interpretation Note 47 issued by SARS. It’s a long list and covers a myriad of assets but some certainly had me scratching my head:

Adding machines - 6 years
Adding machines went out of vogue about 30 years ago. Perhaps there’s still a thriving market in Springbok?

Bumping flaking - 4 years
Huh??? Hmmmmmm...

Cheque writing machines -6 years
What’s a cheque?

Guillotines - 6 years
Is it legal to guillotine staff in South Africa? (A few candidates do come to mind...)

Mobile caravans - 5 years
I thought all caravans were mobile

Motorised chain saws - 4 years
I thought all chain saws were motorised

Musical instruments - 5 years
Writing off a Stradivari violin will sort out your taxable income for the next 5 years

Shakers - 4 years
We have a couple of movers and shakers where I work

Typewriters - 6 years
I read that some Japanese company made the world’s last typewriter the other day.

It’s really difficult to find anything remotely funny about tax so I hope SARS never modernize their list so that in 2025 someone will be trying to figure out what an adding machine is.

By the way, the acquisition of “small” items at a cost of less than R7 000 per item may be written off in full during the year of acquisition.
Greg Beykirch
Financial Director


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