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IAS 38 Intangible Assets

IAS 38 Intangible Assets sets out the recognition criteria, measurement bases and disclosure requirements for intangible assets not dealt with specifically in another standard.

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An intangible asset is recognised (at cost) only if:

  • it meets the definition of an intangible asset (including a requirement to be identifiable), and
  • it is probable that the asset will result in a flow of economic benefits to an entity, and
  • the cost of the asset can be reliably measured.

Application of these criteria means that the costs associated with most internally generated intangible assets are expensed to profit or loss. An exception is development costs which meet further recognition criteria, as stipulated in the standard.

Subsequent to initial recognition, an entity must choose either the cost or revaluation model for each class of intangible assets, although the revaluation model may only be applied where fair value can be determined by reference to an active market as defined in the standard.

Intangible assets with a finite life must be amortised on a systematic basis over their useful life. Intangible assets with an infinite life should not be amortised. All intangible assets should be assessed for impairment in accordance with IAS 36.

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UK reduced disclosures – FRS 101

UK qualifying parents and subsidiaries can take advantage of FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework. Our FRS 101 page gives more information on which entities qualify and the criteria to be met.

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