Raymond Yeung Tax Consultant * former IRD Assessor

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Profits Tax - Repairs and replacement expenditure

Section 16(1)(e) allows cost of repairs to premises, plant, machinery, implements, utensils or articles used in earning assessable profits.

Inland Revenue Rule No. 2 defines “implements, utensils or articles” to include the following: belting, crockery and cutlery, kitchen utensils, linen, loose tools, soft furnishings, surgical and dental instruments, tubes for x-ray and infra-red machines.

Repairs expenditure should be distinguished from improvement expenditure because the former is allowable while the latter is non-allowable deduction under Section 17(1)(d).

Generally speaking, "repair" means reverting the asset to its original capability or function, whereas "improvement" means a new function or a significant enhancement made to the original asset. In practice, most repairs may involve some elements of improvement --- if the elements of improvement is minor or only incidental to the repairing, the whole amount will be deductible without separating the cost of improvement from the cost of repair.

If improvement expenditure satisfies other provisions in the  Inland Revenue Ordinance, such as scientific research, computer hardware and software, machinery for manufacturing... etc., it is still deductible. Furthermore, it can qualify depreciation allowances if such expenditure is related to "plant and machinery".

Replacement or repairs expenditure for  “implements, utensils or articles” is allowable deduction.


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