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Deductibility of expenditure on a commercial website

Chris Thorne - Thursday, February 09, 2017

The ATO has released a public taxation ruling covering the ATO’s views on the deductibility of expenditure incurred in acquiring, developing, maintaining or modifying a website for use in the carrying on of a business.

Importantly, if the expenditure is incurred in maintaining a website, it would be considered 'revenue' in nature, and therefore generally deductible upfront. This would be the case where the expenditure relates to the preservation of the website, and does not:
- Alter the functionality of the website
- Improve the efficiency or function of the website
- Extend the useful life of the website.

However, if the expenditure is incurred in acquiring or developing a commercial website for a new or existing business, or even in modifying an existing website, it would generally be considered capital in nature (in which case an outright deduction cannot be claimed).

Please contact us if you want any guidance about the ATO's latest views on this important issue.  Please refer to TR2016/D1 

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