Raymond Yeung Tax Consultant * former IRD Assessor

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Profits Tax - Purchase of computer hardware and software

Under Section 16G, the purchase cost of computer hardware and software for producing assessable profits is tax deductible.

Computer hardware includes mainframe computer system and standalone personal computers. A computer system forming an integral part of a plant or machinery does not qualify the Section 16G deduction as a prescribed computer stuff --- it should be treated as part of the plant or machinery. Then it may qualify a deduction as a prescribed fixed asset for manufacturing also under Section 16G or else, it may attract depreciation allowances as a usual plant or machinery.

The meaning of computer software is well understood and does not usually give rise to disputes.

Only the hardware and software used for the production of assessable profits qualify the Section 16G deduction. Where they are only partly used for the profits-earning purpose, the expenditure will be apportioned between the purposes.  

Computer hardware and software purchased on hire purchase or held on lease do not qualify a Section 16G deduction. Nevertheless, the hire-purchase asset may attract depreciation allowances as a usual plant or machinery and the monthly rent payments of the leased asset may qualify a deduction, providing the assets are used in the production of assessable profits.

Where the computer stuff for which the deduction has been allowed is sold, the sales proceeds is deemed to be taxable income. 


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