Although partnerships and individuals can as part of a covid-19 measure, defer on account income tax payments for 6 months, the liability to pay the tax remains the same; claiming Capital Allowances to offset tax liabilities, including those tax payments made on account, can provide valuable cash savings.
Capital Allowances related to historic expenditure offers significant tax relief when businesses need it most and so we have set out 4 simple steps to assist companies to identify valuable cash savings.
Many property owners and occupiers have not maximised Capital Allowances claims on historic expenditure due to being unaware of the nuances of the legislation, claiming only on items not integral to the building or perceiving there are no allowances to be claimed.
No Time Restriction To Claim on Historic Expenditure
As long as the property or fixtures within a property are still retained it is possible to submit a Capital Allowances claim now on historic expenditure incurred going back as far as you can, with Veritas Advisory having advised on claims going back 30 years ago; the tax savings associated with these historic claims will be realised in the tax returns that remain open, as set out below.
A individual or partnership, with a 5 April tax year end date, who acquired a property and then carried out a subsequent refurbishment in 1999, would be entitled to submit a claim on both amounts of expenditure and amend both tax returns for years ending 5 April 2019 and 2020. In addition, as those allowances are written down over a number of years the tax saving benefit would be accrued over both the current and future tax periods.
The tax savings equates to up to 45% of all qualifying expenditure; a £1,000,000 claim for Capital allowances will therefore give rise to up to £450,000 in cash savings, realised across the different tax periods.
For expenditure incurred since 1 January 2019 it is possible to achieve the full £450,000 tax savings in the tax period in which the money was incurred by utilising the annual investment allowance, as long as the partnership is not a mixed partnership.
Examples of Unclaimed Capital Allowances
Typically nuances of the legislation commonly overlooked include opportunities to claim where properties are acquired with vacant space, properties occupied with non-tax paying tenants, capital contributions to tenants, to simply not claiming as not profit making at the time or for acquisitions, the Sellers stating that no Capital Allowances were available to Buyers.
A Seller having claimed all the allowances they were entitled to will not necessarily preclude a claim for a Buyer, even where a £2 s198 election may be agreed, because the entitlement to claim for the Buyer can be different to that of the Seller.
Overcoming Perceived Barriers to Claim
A perceived barrier to submitting claims on historic expenditure is a lack of detailed records supporting costs incurred on historic developments, refurbishments or extensions, but this is easily overcome.
There is no requirement to retain detailed cost expenditure; HMRC will accept a claim which is built up from first principles using measurement and cost estimating techniques, similar to a purchase claim, with any claim being based on the Capital Allowances legislation applicable at the date of the expenditure.
The only requirement is evidence of the expenditure having been incurred and guidance provided as to the nature of the works carried out.
4 Simple Steps to Follow
To take advantage of the unclaimed allowances related to the historic expenditure we recommend the following steps:
- Create schedule of existing owned or let properties
- List dates of capital expenditure incurred for each property, including purchase date, dates of refurbishments, fit outs, developments or extensions
- For all acquisitions add the purchase price and land registry title number. For capex expenditure add approximate expenditure if actual expenditure not known
- Request a free initial estimate of potential allowances and tax savings