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Businesses are failing to claim tax relief on fittings in commercial properties, experts say, which could save them billions of pounds

Properties from fish and chip shops to the Gherkin in London (front right) could be missing out on capital allowances on fittings, tax experts say. Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA

British businesses could save billions of pounds if they claimed full tax relief on the commercial properties they own, according to City experts.

Taking advantage of capital allowances, companies can claim tax relief on fittings such as air conditioning, radiators, pipework, cabling, lighting and security systems – anything relating to the intrinsic fabric of the building – even if the property was bought a decade ago, according to Peter Millwood, tax partner at Deloitte.

But while accountants routinely claim on everyday purchases such as curtains, carpets, fire extinguishers and radiator covers, they often fail to claim on other, less-easy-to-spot fittings.

Without receipts, a detailed analysis is needed to ascertain the correct value of the qualifying assets within the property. Also, companies can only claim for an item once and need to check that a claim has not been made before. Specialist firms send forensic surveyors to draw up a list of all the fittings in every room, including hidden cabling, then feed it into a computer model with 8,000 different matrices that comes up with, say, a price of £47.50 for a door bell in an office built prior to 1950 in a certain area.

Millwood said the “sheer scale of legislation to battle with” was putting many smaller firms off. “In most cases, business don’t claim as much as they could claim, and there are still many businesses who don’t claim at all … it could be billions of pounds,” he said.

There are about 1.4m commercial properties in England and Wales, according to government figures, ranging from fish and chip shops to the Gherkin. On a typical £1m property, a Capital Allowance specialist would typically find £200,000 of unused capital allowances, which, assuming a mid-point between the higher-rate and lower-rate tax bands, means there is £65bn to £70bn in net tax rebates sitting unclaimed in commercial properties.

As for a typical SME with a commercial property,  it could save about £25,000.

On 6 April, changes to the capital allowances rules kick in that could see “unwary buyers unable to claim writing down allowances on many investments”, said Millwood. “Up until April, most buyers will continue to be able to attribute part of their cost of acquisition of commercial property to plant and machinery and claim tax relief against their profits. The amounts can be considerable, and can radically affect the viability of deals. From April, a buyer acquiring property from a seller who has claimed writing down allowances will not be entitled in most cases to claim going forward unless an election [written agreement] is in place.”

Also, the annual investment allowance – the 100% write-off for plant and machinery, excluding vehicles – drops from £100,000 to £25,000.

A UK leading tax specialist, said the changes also meant that any tax rebates would be based on the previous owner’s purchase price of the building. In many cases, where the value of the building has gone up, this means that companies planning to buy a commercial property should do it before April – or they stand to lose a sizeable proportion of their potential tax rebate. However, if the value of the property has fallen, they would be advised to wait until after 6 April.

Capital allowances on commercial property have always been a bit of a “dirty secret” since being introduced in the UK after the second world war.  The government had considered getting rid of them altogether, but agreed to the new rules after industry lobbying, amid fears that companies might relocate to other places with capital allowances, such as the US, France, Germany or eastern Europe.

Salmon Business Group are sole providers of Capital Allowances for NDNA member

NDNA members can expect to find details of this tax allowance in their next email newsletter

Salmon Business Group are providers of Capital Allowances to Day Nursery owners

Salmon Business Group were shocked as to the number of day nursery owners who have not yet taken advantage of their most lucrative tax benefit – Capital Allowances.  A Capital Allowance claim quite literally holds to keys to unlocking £1000’s in overpaid taxes, as well as providing on-going tax relief for future years.

The amount of tax benefit you can expect to acheive will vary dependent on the total acquisition cost of your building together with any subsequent improvements you might have made. The other consideration which have a bearing on the total identified tax pool will be the rate of tax you pay.

With such a large number of nursery owners who own the freehold to their day nursery having not made this claim, Salmon Business Group are now trying to spread the word of this tax benefit to as many nursery owners as possible.  National Day Nurseries Association members can expect to find out more about this tax allowance in their next email newsletter. If however you are not a member of the NDNA, don’t panic – simply visit call us direct today and ask to speak with one of our tax specialists and discuss your potential claim.

Call Salmon Business Group on 01246 293011
Alternatively, visit our web site for further information -

acquisition cost of your building together
with any subsequent improvements you
might have made. The other
consideration which is have a bearing on
the total identified tax pool will be the rate
of tax you pay.The amount of tax benefit you can expect
to acheive will vary dependent on the total
acquisition cost of your building together
with any subsequent improvements you
might have made. The other
consideration which is have a bearing on
the total identified tax pool will be the rate
of tax you pay.


Tax Rebate, Tax Recovery or Tax Benefit…..
Do you associate high value, or low value benefits to your business?

Tax Benefits for Hotel and Guest House Owners

Tax Benefits for Hotel and Guest House Owners

Are You One of The Few Hotel Owners Who Haven’t Made Their Capital Allowance Claim?

Discover how your Hotel and Guest House hold the keys to unlocking £1000’s in overpaid taxes.

The results of making a Capital Allowance claim on your Hotel or Guest House will vastly reduce the amount of tax you pay on any profits you post in future years. In the majority of cases providing you have made a profit in the previous 2 years, a Hotel or Guest House will receive a lump sum of any overpaid taxes they have made.

Capital Allowances are a tax payers right! It is not an avoidance strategy.

It is estimated that 20-40% of a hotel’s fit out costs could qualify for capital allowances.  However, as of April 2012 these refunds will be reduced greatly as the tax system is being simplified and complex claims are going to be abolished.

The reference says the Conservatives aim to cut the headline rate of corporation tax to 25p and small company rate to 20p funded by reducing complex tax relief’s and allowances. –see second point on their priority list!

Don’t miss out on these valuable tax advantages whilst they are still available to you – speak with an adviser today and arrange a FREE site survey NOW.

Your Capital Allowance pool can be locked in now and not drawn down until you need it.

Contact Salmon Business Group today on 01246 293011
Alternatively, visit us at

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