Shortened depreciation of hardware and software

The Federal Ministry of Finance has reduced the depreciation of hardware and software from three years to one year. This practically results in an immediate write-off of the affected assets.

Both the computer hardware and the required operating and user software are subject to rapid technical change. In order to offer additional tax support for the desired digitalization, the tax administration is shortening the useful life of computers and software. The new regulation applies retroactively from January 01, 2021. The corresponding assets can therefore be deducted in full in the tax return for 2021. Goods that were purchased before 2021 can also be written off completely in 2021.


The financial administration counts all assets of a PC and its peripherals as computer hardware. Specifically mentioned are, for example: ✓ computers ✓ notebooks ✓ workstations ✓ peripheral devices (e.g. keyboard, mouse, microphone, headset, scanner, camera) ✓ external storage ✓ output devices (e.g. projector, monitor, speakers) ✓ printers

The devices must comply with EU requirements for environmentally friendly design of computers and computer servers


Software is understood to be any operating and user software for data entry and processing. This also includes non-technical-physical application programs, standard applications as well as individually tailored applications, such as ERP software, software for merchandise management systems, etc.

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