Capital allowances are a way of businesses claiming tax relief on certain types of expenditure by reducing your taxable profit.
If you buy assets to use in your business, such as equipment or a car, you can claim capital allowances, known as ‘plant and machinery’.
In most cases, you can deduct the value of the item from your profits before you pay tax.
What counts as ‘plant and machinery’?
Plant and machinery includes:
- Items that you keep to use in your business e.g. computers, printers or car
- Costs of demolishing plant and machinery
- Parts of a building considered integral. These are known as ‘integral features’ and cannot be removed such as heating systems
- Some fixtures e.g. fitted kitchens or bathroom suites
- Alterations to a building to install other plant and machinery (not including repairs)
What does not count as plant and machinery?
You cannot claim capital allowances on:
- Leased or rented items – you must own them
- Buildings, including doors, gates, shutters, mains water and gas systems
- Land and structures, for example bridges, roads, docks
- Items used only for business entertainment, for example a yacht or karaoke machine
- Repairs – these must be claimed as a business expense (sole trader or partner) or deducted from your profits (limited company)
How to claim capital allowances
Capital allowances must be claimed in your Self Assessment tax return in the accounting period in which you bought the item.
How to work out the value of the asset you want to claim for
This amount you claim will usually be the amount you paid for the item. If you owned it before you started using it in your business, or if it was a gift, you should use the current market value.
Who can claim capital allowances?
Capital allowances can be claimed by all types of business – sole traders, partnerships, and limited companies.
If you’re self-employed you will account for capital allowances in your Self Assessment tax return (if a sole trader), or in your partnership tax return (if you’re a member of a partnership).
How to claim for other business costs
Other things which you wouldn’t be able to claim as capital allowances include the day-to-day costs of running your business, things you buy and sell as part of your business, and interest payments or financing costs related to buying business assets.
Claiming capital allowances can be quite complex, if you have any questions feel free to contact Magpie Accountancy – we’ll be happy to talk you through it.