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.
Revised March 2004. Effective 31 March 2004.
Free to view
Financial Reporting Faculty members only
Looking for real life examples?
Financial Reporting Faculty members get free access to Company Reporting’s CR service. Company Reporting are a leading research and benchmarking service on IFRS reporting practices.
Faculty membership gives you access to a range of other resources, including the hidden premium content on this page.
*UK qualifying parents and subsidiaries can take advantage of FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework. Find out more on which entities qualify and the criteria to be met.
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.
Which version of the standard?
'Which version of the standard?' is only available to members of the Financial Reporting Faculty. Please note that to access electronic versions of IFRS through the links in these standard trackers you need to have first logged into eIFRS.
|Annual period starts
||Effective version of standard
||Notes on amendments|
|On or after 1 January 2021||IAS 38 2019 Issued Standards
||Includes amendments 1- 6
|1 January 2020 – 31 December 2020
||IAS 38 2019 Issued Standards
||Includes amendments 1- 6; amendment 4 is not mandatory
|I January 2019 – 31 December 2019
||IAS 38 2019 Required Standards
||Includes amendments 1 - 3
|I January 2018 – 31 December 2018
||IAS 38 2018 Required Standards
||Includes amendments 1 and 2
|1 January 2016 – 31 December 2017
||IAS 38 2017 Required Standards
||Includes amendment 1
Required Standards book for a particular year assumes that there is no early application of issued but not yet effective IFRSs; The Issued Standards book assumes early application of all issued IFRSs.
For the latest version of the standard, and where the amendments are to be adopted early, refer to IAS 38 2019 Issued Standards.
Full access to details of all the amendments is only available to Financial Reporting Faculty members. Find out how to join the faculty.
*Not EU endorsed as at 26 March 2019. Read more on EU endorsement.
The following interpretations refer to IAS 38
Accounting guidance for arrangements where a contract is granted for the supply of public services such as roads.
IFRIC 13 provides guidance on accounting for loyalty award credits granted to customers.
SIC 32 addresses the appropriate accounting treatment for costs at each stage of the development of a website.
UK reduced disclosures
UK qualifying parents and subsidiaries can take advantage of FRS 101 Reduced Disclosure Framework. Find out more on which entities qualify and the criteria to be met.
Amendments to the standard
There are no amendments to the standard in order to comply with the Companies Act and related Regulations.
FRS 101 paragraph 8(f) states that a qualifying entity is exempt from the requirement to disclose a reconciliation of the carrying amount of intangible assets at the beginning and end of the comparative period.
IAS 38 paragraph for which exemption is available: 118(e) (comparative period only).
- 2016 IFRS Accounts
Provides more information on amendment 5.
This page was last updated 26 March 2019