How are Intangible assets amortized?
Under the the IRS code section 197, "amortization of intangible assets are allowable using teh straight-line method over 15 years."
IRS code section 197 definition is very broad and specifically includes items such as goodwill, going concern value, customized software, information bases, customer lists, know how, licenses, permits, etc.
Furthermore, Reg. 1.197-2(b)(8) provides that IRC Sec. 197 intangibles include any license, permit, or other right granted by a governmental unit, even if the right is granted for an indefinite period (or is reasonably expected to be renewed for an indefinite period). These rights include, for example, a liquor license, a taxicab medallion (or license), an airport landing or takeoff right (sometimes referred to as a slot), a regulated airline route, or a television or radio broadcasting license.
But, IRS Code Section 197 IRC Sec. 197 specifically excludes assets such as:
a. Interests in a corporation, partnership, trust, or estate.
b. Interest under certain financial contracts such as existing futures contracts, foreign currency contracts, notional principal contracts,
interest rate swaps, or other similar financial contracts.
c. Certain “off-the-shelf” computer software.
d. Certain interests in films, sound recordings, videotapes, books, or other similar properties.
e. Certain interests in patents or copyrights.