Homepage: what you need to consider

Inka Smith

A self-produced website is immediately tax deductible. It is only capitalized and depreciated when purchased. We would like to show you what you have to consider for the homepage and where the border is to the domain.

The costs of a home office are determined by the entrepreneur

Creating a homepage can be costly, depending on its scope. The company decides whether only the company is presented or also the individual products are shown. In addition, there is often also an online store. Furthermore, the money for the products sold online has to be claimed.

Types of costs for the production of the home page

The following costs can arise for the development of a homepage:

  • Conception the homepage in terms of structure and presentation of the individual pages. In addition, the website must be graphically designed so that it is an eye-catcher for the customer.
  • Programming: Forwarding on the individual pages. Images and video applications are needed. The relevant texts must be provided and adopted.
  • An intended Internet store must point out the products offered. The products must be illustrated and priced out.
  • Software: For the production of the homepage and for the payment system of the Internet store certain programs are necessary.

Different approaches to commercial and tax law

The homepage and the treatment of costs in commercial law

The homepage is a Intangible depreciable asset. An activation can be made with (not all) production costs (§ 248 Abs. 2 HGB). There is a right of choice. Depreciation takes place over the period of use, which is determined by the entrepreneur.

For the conception of the website and the programming there is still an activationprohibition.

The internet store can be activated because the characteristics for an asset are present here: Useful value, tangibility, transferability and independent valuability (BFH, judgment v. 19.10.2006, III R 6/05, BStBl II 2007 S. 301).

The software products can only be purchased for a fee. For this reason, these must be capitalized and depreciated over their useful lives.

The homepage and the treatment of the costs in the tax law

The tax law excludes the capitalization of assets, as far as they were not acquired against payment (§ 5 Abs. 2 EStG). But only the production costs are affected.

Of the above-mentioned cost types, only the acquisition costs for the software products must be capitalized, since only these are acquired in return for payment. Depreciation is done over the useful life.

Lack of obligation to capitalize = operating expenses

If the law stipulates that assets cannot be capitalized, as in the case of manufacturing, the entire cost is immediately and fully deductible as a business expense. These primarily reduce profits, and therefore income and corporate taxes, plus business tax.

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