This guidance note considers the definitions of 'Intangible Fixed Asset' (IFA) for the purpose of the corporate intangibles regime.

Definition of IFA

IFAs are assets which are defined as intangible assets under GAAP which have a continuing use in the company's trade. The accounting definition is set out in FRS 102, section 18 'Intangible assets other than goodwill' and defines an intangible asset as 'an identifiable non-monetary asset without physical substance'. CTA 2009, ss 712-713

For an asset to fall within the FRS 102 definition of 'intangible asset' it must therefore be:

  • non-financial
  • a fixed asset (ie not held or acquired as trading stock)
  • one with no physical substance
  • capable of being identified, ie capable of being sold, licensed, rented or otherwise separated from the business with which it is associated, or otherwise arising from contractual or other legal rights
  • an asset over which the company can exercise a degree of control, ie via a franchise, licence arrangement, patent, etc

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