San Diego Law Review


Allen Walburn

Library of Congress Authority File


Document Type



Under tax law in 1993, depreciation of many purchased intangibles was denied on the theory that they have an unlimited, or at least indeterminate life. However, many taxpayers challenged this theory on the ground that intangibles are subject to wear and tear like any other asset. This Comment argues that the imprecise factual nature of this issue has led to unnecessary complexity and uncertainty, a great burden on the courts, and unfair treatment of taxpayers. The Comment analyzes justifications for the depreciation of goodwill and other intangibles in the nature of goodwill. It examines possible solutions to these problems with a view toward significantly reducing the inequity and controversy, and recommends a legislative solution.