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Latest News / Features

Latest News / Features

Defining Repairs & Maintenance

 

Classifying expenditure as either deductible repairs and maintenance (R&M) or non-deductible capital expenditure is not clear cut. It is a question of fact and no two situations are the same. But it is advantageous from a tax perspective to classify as much expenditure as possible as R&M, which gives rise to the risk of pushing ‘the line’ too far. 

 

There isn’t a rigid test to be applied, but the courts have identified a two-stage approach for determining the nature of the expenditure and whether it comprises R&M:

 

  • Identify the relevant asset being repaired or worked on.
  • Consider the nature and extent of the work done to that asset.  

 

Repair and maintenance of assets can be achieved in several ways. For example, the asset may simply be patched up or it could be restored to “as new” condition or substantial parts of the asset may be replaced. If the expenditure results in the reconstruction, replacement or renewal of the asset it is likely to be capital expenditure. Whereas, expenditure incurred to repair or maintain the asset to its original condition is generally deductible in the year it is incurred. If the expenditure creates a substantially new or improved asset, then it is likely to be capital.