Consultant says HM Revenue & Customs should issue clarification on tax relief

The HM Revenue & Customs should issue clarification on tax relief that can be claimed under the Business Premises Renovation Allowances (BPRA), according to consultant Davis Langdon.

David Henry, an associate at firm, said: “The BPRA concept is well thought out and aims to bring back into use business premises that have been vacant for longer than 12 months, within designated disadvantaged areas.

“In return, the taxpayer will receive 100% tax relief on the capital expenditure incurred; however, there can be confusion over what actually qualifies for relief.”

Davis Langdon believes that despite being 16 months into the five year life, the system is still causing confusion about what qualifies for the tax relief.

David Henry, associate at Davis Langdon

For example, BPRA’s are only available on fixtures and not on moveable items. In deciding how ‘fixed’ an asset is once installed, the end use of the asset needs to be considered along with s173(1) of the Capital Allowances Act 2001 (CAA 2001).

This states that a fixture is ‘an item of plant and machinery that is fitted in or to a building so that it becomes part of that building.’

So, whilst tables and chairs are clearly moveable items, specialist lighting installations for nightclubs and theatres need to be carefully considered against the CAA 2001.

Extensions to the original building structure are another area of confusion. The Act states that they qualify if they are ‘providing a means of getting to or from the qualifying business premises’ but does not clearly state whether this includes expenditure on access ramps, canopies, car parks, loading bays or roads.

Another grey area which Davis Langdon draws attention to is that of developing adjacent land.

If the development provides additional useable space for the original building it qualifies for relief, but it is unclear whether this includes additional car parking space or the site works associated with the development.