INDEPENDENT CAPITAL ALLOWANCES SPECIALISTS

A recent capital allowances decision highlights the importance of establishing the tax history for purchased properties The Granleys v Commissioners for HMRC (TC01231). It also demonstrates the need to use capital allowances specialists with experience in both tax and surveying.

Background

  • The Granleys, a partnership, acquired a care home in December 2003 for £650,001.
  • Within the purchase contract £40,000 was allocated to fixtures and fittings.
  • In September 2003 the vendor instructed a firm to prepare a capital allowances report. For various reasons, this report was never provided to the vendor.
  • The report was subsequently provided to The Granleys and identified plant and machinery allowances (PMA) of £106,014, in addition to the contract allocation of £40,000.
  • The Granleys assumed that without the report the vendor would not claim PMA.

  • The vendor did in fact claim PMA over two accounting periods.

Relevant Legislation and Guidance

  • When acquiring a second-hand property, s562 CAA2001 requires a just and reasonable apportionment of the price paid for the whole of the property.

  • This applies regardless of any contract allocation.

  • In addition, s185 CAA2001 restricts a purchaser’s PMA claim to the disposal value of a former owner. The maximum disposal value is limited to original cost.

  • No restriction applies on assets which have not previously been subject to a PMA claim.

Decision

  • The Commissioner stated “there is every possibility that the vendors claimed in respect of some or all of the fixtures … the disposal value they are likely to have used is … £40,000.”

  • HMRC contended that “all available evidence indicates that a claim was made by the previous owners in respect of the additional PMA” of £106,014.

  • The Granleys additional claim was rejected as s185 CAA2001 had not been applied correctly and their PMA claim should have been restricted to the vendor’s disposal value of £40,000.

Lovell Consulting View

  • If the vendor claimed £106,014, we wonder why HMRC and the tribunal did not apply s562 CAA2001 to calculate the disposal value.

  • If the property was sold at a profit, the correctly calculated disposal value would be £106,014, not £40,000. This would result in a full clawback of PMA for the vendor.

  • Lovell Consulting thoroughly researches the tax history for each client property.

  • When an entitlement is established and it is found no s198 CAA2001 election is agreed but a vendor is not forthcoming with details of their claim, Lovell Consulting will:

    1. Use quantity surveying techniques and published cost data to estimate the vendor’s original claim;

    2. Fully disclose our assumptions within our report;

    3. Provide evidence of prior claims and correspondence with prior owners.

  • This case illustrates the need to engage capital allowances specialists who can apply the legislation as intended.

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