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It is not necessary to claim the maximum capital allowances available or even claim them at all, crazy as it might sound there are situations when not claiming capital allowances can reduce your tax bill!
Sole Trader Example
The personal tax allowance is currently £10,600 (2015/16)
Lets assume profits are £15,000 and Capital Allowances available are £5,000, so that would reduce taxable profits to £10,000 which would waste £600 of the personal tax allowance.
It would therefore be better to only claim £4,400 in capital allowances and claim the remaining £600 in the following year.
Companies within a Group can only offset losses in corresponding tax periods, so if the the capital allowances increase the loss in one part of the group beyond the profits of the rest of the group then there would be no benefit to claiming them in that period.
Companies can claim capital allowances in any of the following 3 tax years.
There is an excellent example of this in the following blog http://taxnotes.co.uk/a-basic-introduction-to-capital-allowances/
FA2008 introduced a new classification of integral features of a building or structure, expenditure on the provision or replacement of which qualifies for WDAs at the 10% special rate. The new classification applies to qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2008 (CT) or 6 April 2008 (IT).
The rules on integral features apply where a person carrying on a qualifying activity incurs expenditure on the provision or replacement of an integral feature for the purposes of that qualifying activity. Each of the following is an integral feature of a building or structure –
- an electrical system (including a lighting system),
- a cold water system,
- a space or water heating system, a powered system of ventilation, air cooling or air purification, and any floor or ceiling comprised in such a system,
- a lift, an escalator or a moving walkway,
- external solar shading
Only assets that are on the list are integral features for PMA purposes; if an asset is not one of those included in the list, the integral features rules are not in point.
However, Plant and Machinery includes….
other building fixtures, such as shop fittings, kitchen and bathroom fittings
Many businesses have never claimed capital allowances for these items.
Paragraph 13 of Schedule 10 FA2012 introduced transitional provisions for making claims.
The provisions mean that where the current owner incurs expenditure on acquiring fixtures from a past owner before 1 (or 6) April 2014 and the past owner has not claimed allowances or pooled their expenditure in respect of a qualifying fixture, the current owner may claim PMA on the part of the price the paid which is attributable to that fixture….. CA26470
It is possible for the buyer to use apportionment of the sale price (usually done by an RICS Surveyor) to determine the value of the fixtures. But this risks clawback of balancing charges for the seller.
A alternative option is to claim a Section 198 election which can be entered into within 2 years of the date of the property sale. It must be signed by the buyer and the seller and must identify the items covered. The elected value can be between £1 and the price paid, but makesure you undertand the implications of the price choosen.
As a Section 198 requires agreement you may wish to take legal advice.
The Section 198 needs to made in writing to HMRC.
The following can’t claim a Section 198:
- Property Traders
- Pension Funds
But if you can claim you need to claim now as there are only a few weeks left until April 2014.
Basically when you are self employed you spend money on 3 types of expense:
1. Capital Expenditure – Equipment & Vehicles
2. Business Expenditure – stock, wages, premises
3. Private Expenditure – day to day living expenses – mostly not allowed but some types of cost may still count as business expenses
In general its types 1 and 3 where sole traders and partnerships miss out on tax allowances.
For example, you could claim capital allowances on your car, if you use your car partly for private and partly for business you simply disallow a % for private use.
On other assets there is an Annual Investment Allowance which is currently £250,000 per year from January 2013.
For most business that will cover all their capital expenditure, but there are further allowances available too.
With regard to private expenditure, there are tax reliefs available for working from home
If you have to spend money on tools or specialist clothing for your job you may be entitled to either:
- tax relief for the actual amounts you spend
- a ‘flat rate deduction’