What is an Intangible Asset?
Intangible Assets are non-physical assets such as franchises, trademarks, patents, copyrights, goodwill, equities, mineral rights, securities and contracts (as distinguished from physical assets) that grant rights and privileges, and have value for the owner.
According to the IRS Valuation Guide for Income, Estate and Gift Taxes, Intangibles, for purposes of valuation, are divided into two categories;
The valuation guide also points out, that for a taxpayer to be entitled to a depreciation deduction under Section 167, three requirements must be met:
The IRS also notes that the qualities that make intangibles so attractive to a buyer, such as providing a competitive advantage (or excess earnings) are the same qualities that make the intangible assets so difficult to identify and value.
However, the courts hold that the burden of proof remains upon the taxpayer to provide sufficient and reasonable evidence to support a claim that an acquired intangible asset exists, has value separate and distinct from goodwill, and a limited useful life.
Valuing the Intangible Asset
All three approaches to be value may be used, depending on the type of asset being valued.
In many cases the Market Approach may be difficult to use due to the lack of information about comparable sales of similar intangible assets, but should not be overlooked. Other problems facing the appraiser when attempting to use the Market Approach; a) is that the intangible assets are not often sold separately from the business assets. b) buyers and sellers of intangible assets tend to keep the transactional data very proprietary so it is difficult to obtain and verify the transactions or if they were arms length c) cash equivalency analysis is very difficult as some have short term servicing agreements and long term noncompete agreements that accompany the sale and if there is an earn-out or other payment terms. Nonetheless, most appraisers would agree that when the market approach can be used it is one of the best methods to use in valuing intangible assets.
The Income Approach provides a good system for estimating the value of the intangible asset based on economic income capitalization or on the present value of future "economic income" to be derived from the use, license, or rental of that intangible asset. Under the income approach, economic income can be defined in many ways, including the following: a) net income before tax, b) net income after tax, c) net operating income, d) gross or net rental income, e) gross or net royalty income and f) operating cash flow and g) net cash flow. The income capitalization procedure can be accomplished in many ways, including the following: a) capitalizing the current years economic income, b) capitalizing an average of several years economic income, c) capitalizing a normalized or stabilized period's economic income and d) projecting economic income over a certain time period and determining a present value.
The cost approach may be used for such assets as architectural drawings of computer software, whereas the income approach is probably more appropriate for copyrights, patents and trademarks. The cost approach also provides a system for estimating the value of an intangible asset based on the principle of substitution in that a prudent investor would pay no more for the asset than the cost that would be incurred to replace the subject asset with a substitute of comparable utility or functionality.
Another factor that needs to be mentioned is the Remaining Useful Life Analysis of the intangible asset. This estimation is important mainly in the market approach because the appraiser will want to select sales/licensing transactions where the sold/licensed intangible asset has a similar remaining useful life to the subject intangible asset. This is because the appraiser will need to estimate the time period over which to project (and capitalize) the economic income associated with the subject intangible asset. There are several measures to consider when estimating the remaining useful life of the intangible asset:
The holiday season is filled with frenzy and excitement for businesses and consumers alike. Consumers prepare gift lists, compare brands and prices, and begin shopping with a vigor that is not present most other times of the year. For many businesses, the holiday season accounts for a large profit bump at the end of each year, and companies strive to exceed their goals and keep customers happy during this rush late in the year. more
There are a lot of possible reasons you might want to switch to a new phone system. The old one might cost too much or be too troublesome to operate and maintain. It might not be flexible enough. It might not be reliable enough. Or it just might not have the kinds of features and capabilities that you need in today’s competitive business climate. more
Customer Relationship (CRM) software has become one of the most important business tools in today’s world. By allowing you to better connect with new and existing customers, CRM is an indispensable tool for sales teams and customer service teams alike. But with so many choices available, it can be difficult to decide on a solution. more