Leading Tax Expert States UK Businesses Are Losing Millions in Tax Relief Due to Capital Allowances Loophole
UK businesses, especially SMEs (small and medium enterprises) are missing out on millions of pounds in tax relief, tax expert David Redfern stated today. He said that although many such businesses are claiming Capital Allowances on items such as cars and computers, many are unaware that they are able to claim on ‘plant and machinery’ items embedded in their commercial properties and highlighted recent figures released by HMRC showing that many businesses are unaware that they could benefit by claiming capital allowances on the expenditure on what are often expensive business purchases. The HMRC research highlighted that only 27% of businesses realised that this was option, the majority instead merely deducting the total cost as a business expense. But changes brought in under the 2012 Finance Act have introduced a time limit on claims, so firms are being urged to act without delay or face losing the considerable tax advantages open to them.
Founder of specialist tax claims company, DSR Tax Refunds, David Redfern explained that although ‘machinery’ was an easily defined term, many businesses lacked knowledge of what would constitute ‘plant’ items, which he defined as the “apparatus used for running a business” and stated that these could include a diverse range of items, including alarm systems, emergency lighting, air conditioning systems, toilets and kitchens but pointed out that the complex web of rules making up the Capital Allowances system meant that this list was by no means exhaustive. He added that “past successful claims have been made on such items as bowling alleys, fish tanks, zoo cages and artwork”. He urged business owners to take a good look at the business infrastructure of their own firms.
Capital allowances are often considered to cover existing plant and machinery only but Redfern stated that this was simply incorrect, adding that businesses could also claim back a proportion of expenditure made on refurbishments, maintenance and new installations and urged businesses to keep detailed records of all work carried out so that they could take full advantage of the tax relief that was on offer.
Adding that many businesses had been hard hit by recent worldwide financial uncertainty, forcing them to cut staff numbers and postpone infrastructure improvements, Redfern stated that the financial considerations for identifying and claiming for these allowances was essential. Highlighting that over 90% of commercial properties in the UK have untapped capital allowances within then, he concluded that “the rewards for taking advantage of this opportunity for tax relief are huge. If more businesses start to take advantage of these generous rules, this really could be Britain’s biggest tax break!”.
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