The Tax Advantages of Commercial Fit Out Reply

Interior construction site

When you carryout out a refurbishment or Fit Out of your business premises you will be entitled to Capital Allowances.

Here is quick summary of the main types of allowance.

Business Premises Renovation Allowances

BPRA gives incentives to bring back into business use derelict or business properties that have been unused for at least one year. It gives an allowance of 100% for certain expenditure you incur when converting or renovating unused business premises in a disadvantaged area.

BPRA started on 11 April 2007 and ends on:

• 31 March 2017 for Corporation Tax
• 5 April 2017 for Income Tax

To qualify for BPRA, you must incur qualifying expenditure.

Qualifying expenditure is capital expenditure you incurred when you:

• convert a qualifying building into qualifying business premises
• renovate a qualifying building that is, or will be, a qualifying business premises
• repair qualifying business premises

Capital Allowances

Integral features

Integral features are:

• lifts, escalators and moving walkways
• space and water heating systems
• air-conditioning and air cooling systems
• hot and cold water systems (but not toilet and kitchen facilities)
• electrical systems, including lighting systems
• external solar shading

Fixtures

You can claim for fixtures, eg:

• fitted kitchens
• bathroom suites
• fire alarm and CCTV systems

You can claim if you rent or own the building, but only the person who bought the item can claim.

Annual Investment Allowance

The Allowance is set at up to £200,000 from January 2016

You can only claim AIA in the period you bought the item.

The date you bought it is:

• when you signed the contract, if payment is due within less than 4 months
• when payment’s due, if it’s due more than 4 months later

If you buy something under a hire purchase contract you can claim for the payments you haven’t made yet when you start using the item. You can’t claim on the interest payments.

If you don’t want to claim the full cost, eg you have low profits, you can claim part of the cost as AIA and part using writing down allowances. You can do this at any time as long as you still own the item.

If your business closes, you can’t claim AIA for items bought in the final accounting period.

Enhanced Capital Allowance

100% capital allowances can be obtained for expenditure on environmentally beneficial technology. This enables businesses to write off the whole capital cost against their profits in the year in which the expenditure is incurred and therefore to obtain valuable tax relief which can improve cashflow.

What doesn’t count as plant and machinery

You can’t claim capital allowances on:

• things you lease – you must own them
• buildings, including doors, gates, shutters, mains water and gas systems
• land and structures, eg bridges, roads, docks
• items used only for business entertainment, eg a yacht or karaoke machine

New Tenant – Lease Incentives

New Tenants may get incentives such as rent free periods or reverse premiums. The new accounting rules (FRS102) mean that these incentives are spread over the life of the lease not taken over the period to the first rent review. Spreading these savings out will mean that tenants get a tax advantage as the gain will be less at the beginning of their lease.

Fit Out Finance

Generally funding fit outs is an issue due to the nature of the security.

However there are lender who can provide funding, for example http://www.fitoutfinance.uk/

As the name suggests, Fit-Out Finance is dedicated to funding fit-outs of business premises, including:

• Head Office.
• Warehousing.
• Fast food outlets.
• Restaurants/retail premises.
• Showrooms.

Using a blend of hire purchase, lease, unsecured loan and other facilities where appropriate, we are able to fund not just the tangibles, but all manner of tertiary work, from survey through to painting and plumbing.

As previously noted HP and Loans are suitable for tax relief through Capital Allowances.

Here are a couple of examples of how funding can work.

Start Up Fast Food Outlet

Well researched & professional, our client was buying into a well-respected fast food franchise.

Their bank had supported the franchise purchase, but there was a further £75,000 required to fit the premises to franchisor specification.
With the customer’s background and a solid franchise, arranging leasing on equipment was fairly straight forward.

That left a £30,000 shortfall on less tangible works – as there were 2 owners in the business, we were able to secure Start-Up loans to fund the shortfall

A Warehouse

The client was a well established, profitable hirer of electrical equipment. Despite being profitable, the business was highly seasonal and therefore cashflow fluctuated wildly.
Most of their funding was done under their roof, being shared between the bank, and the bank’s own finance company, who handled their hire stock.
However, when they approached the finance company, they were confidently informed that racking and mezzanine floors couldn’t be financed; hence they ploughed on, pouring valuable cash into fixed assets.

They had spent over £100,000 on racking etc and were struggling with cashflow to complete the project.

The Funder was able to:
• Release the full value of the assets they had paid for.
• Provide ongoing further funding for a mixed bundle of assets, ranging from a mezzanine floor to bikes used to move around the facility efficiently.
• Provide a £35K term loan to cover intangible costs.

steve@bicknells.net

Contact Us

Would you give your staff a company motorbike? Reply

Extreme couple sitting by motorcycle. Adventure and travel

Motorbikes have a clear tax advantage over company cars because they are classified as plant and machinery. This is better for both employers and employees.

Capital Allowances are restricted on cars based on CO2 emissions and employees also get taxed on the benefit in kind based on CO2.

Motorbikes being plant and machinery aren’t restricted and you could use the Annual Investment Allowance to offset the cost.

The Benefit In Kind is assessed  as 20% of the cost of the motorbike but there will also be a benefit in kind on fuel, repairs and insurance.

The company will also have to pay 13.8% Class 1A NI on the benefit in kind but that applies to most benefits including cars and motorbikes.

Would motorbikes be a viable option for your employees?

steve@bicknells.net

FRC figures show CIMA has fastest growth Reply

Happy businessman with case.

The FRC have just published their Key Facts and Trends in the Accountancy Profession – June 2015

The Financial Reporting Council is the UK’s independent regulator responsible for promoting high quality corporate governance and reporting to foster investment. We promote high standards of corporate governance through the UK Corporate Governance Code. We set standards for corporate reporting, audit and actuarial practice and monitor and enforce accounting and auditing standards. We also oversee the regulatory activities of the actuarial profession and the professional accountancy bodies and operate independent disciplinary arrangements for public interest cases involving accountants and actuaries.

You can download the full report here FRC Key Facts

It compared ACCA, CIMA, CIPFA, ICAEW, CAI, ICAS, AIA and found CIMA grow its members by 16.9% between 2010 and 2014, well above the average of 10.3% and beating the growth rate of all the others.

23% (77,551 out of 335,552) UK accountants are CIMA members.

CIMA also had the biggest growth in Worldwide Students 28.8% between 2010 and 2014.

The sectorial employment data in figure 5 showed that 75,429 (97%) work in Industry & Commerce which is 28% of accountants in Industry & Commerce.

Great statistics!

 

steve@bicknells.net

 

Is my website a fixed asset? 1

WWW Website

HMRC use the Analogy of a shop window….

The cost of a web site is analogous to that of a shop window. The cost of constructing the window is capital; the cost of changing the display from time to time is revenue. (BIM35870)

UITF Abstract 29

Set out 4 key areas of cost:

  1. Planning – P&L
  2. Application and infrastructure development – Tangible Fixed Asset
  3. Design costs – P&L
  4. Content costs – P&L

HMRC also have some useful information on software in CA23410

CAA01/S71

Computer software qualifies for PMAs if it is not already plant.

Computer software is not defined in the capital allowance legislation. You should treat computer programs of any type and data of any kind as computer software. Computer programs range from operating systems like Windows to games like Solitaire. There may be no physical asset because software is sometimes transferred by electronic means, for example it may be downloaded over the Internet. Software acquired that way is also plant.

A person may acquire a right to use or otherwise deal with computer software. If so, the right and the software to which it relates are plant. Treat the person as owning the plant while the person is entitled to the right.

 

Capital Allowances and the Annual Investment Allowance can be claimed against Plant including software.

steve@bicknells.net

Are you planning to buy Assets? Annual Investment Allowance increase starts in January 2

Investment Capital Allowance

In the Autumn statement (Finance Bill 2013) it was announced that for 2 years from 1st January 2013 the Annual Investment Allowance will be increased from £25,000 to £250,000 (an increase of 10 times!).

This is fantastic news if you are planning asset purchases because it will reduce your tax bill.

Some examples of AIA qualifying expenditure

‘Plant or machinery’ actually covers almost every sort of asset a person may buy for the purposes of his/her business. Really the only business assets not covered are land, buildings and cars (which are excluded by one of the ‘general exclusions’). Typical examples of plant or machinery include:

    • computers and all kinds of office furniture and equipment
    • vans, lorries, trucks, cranes and diggers
    • ‘integral features’ of a building or structure, see CA22320
    • other building fixtures, such as shop fittings, kitchen and bathroom fittings
    • all kinds of business machines, such as printing presses, lathes and tooling machines
    • tractors, combine harvesters and other agricultural machinery
    • gaming machines, amusement park rides
    • computerised /computer aided machinery, including robotic machines
    • wind turbines and fibre optic cabling.

Transitional Calculation

A company with a financial year chargeable period from 1 April 2012 to 31 March 2013 would calculate its maximum AIA entitlement based on:
(a) the proportion of a year from 1 April 2012 to 31 December 2012, that is, 9/12 x £25,000 = £18,750; and,
(b) the proportion of a year from 1 January 2013 to 31 March 2013, that is, 3/12 x £250,000 = £62,500.
The company’s maximum AIA for this transitional chargeable period would therefore be the total of (a) + (b) = £18,750 + £62,500 = £81,250, although in relation to (a) (the part period falling before 1 January 2013, no more than a maximum of £25,000 of the company’s actual expenditure in that particular part period would be covered by its transitional AIA entitlement (the maximum claimable before the increase to £250,000).

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/tiin/2012/tiin1278.pdf

steve@bicknells.net

The hidden capital allowances in your building 4

FA2008 introduced a new classification of integral features of a building or structure, expenditure on the provision or replacement of which qualifies for WDAs at the 10% special rate. The new classification applies to qualifying expenditure incurred on or after 1 April 2008 (CT) or 6 April 2008 (IT).

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/camanual/CA22300.htm

The new rules on integral features apply where a person carrying on a qualifying activity incurs expenditure on the provision or replacement of an integral feature for the purposes of that qualifying activity. Each of the following is an integral feature of a building or structure –

  1. an electrical system (including a lighting system),
  2. a cold water system,
  3. a space or water heating system, a powered system of ventilation, air cooling or air purification, and any floor or ceiling comprised in such a system,
  4. a lift, an escalator or a moving walkway,
  5. external solar shading

Only assets that are on the list are integral features for PMA purposes; if an asset is not one of those included in the list, the integral features rules are not in point.

However, Plant and Machinery includes….

other building fixtures, such as shop fittings, kitchen and bathroom fittings

Many businesses have never claimed capital allowances for these items and I found this article by Steve Bone http://www.curtisplumstone.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/Election-Agreements-Steven-Bone.pdf

It explains how elections can be made to claim the allowances using S198 of the Capital Allowances Act 2001.

HMRC have further details on this link http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/manuals/camanual/ca26850.htm

The alternative is to agree a S562 ‘Just and Reasonable Apportionment’ of the sale price.

Elections need to be made within 2 years.

There are calculators on the internet to help you assess the potential value of your claim

http://www.portaltaxclaims.com/

http://www.cataxsolutions.com/calculator.html

steve@bicknells.net

The tax advantages of company vans Reply

What is a company van?

The Inland Revenue define this as a vehicle provided by an employer, built primarily to carry goods or other loads, and with a ‘design weight’ of up to 3,500 kilograms. This definition allowed drivers of pickups with car-like levels of luxury to avoid the much heftier levels of company car tax. Dual purpose vehicles have more than one row of seats but must be able to carry a 1 tonne payload to fall within van tax rules.Beware of specifying too many options such as a heavy hardtop which could take the payload below 1000kg.

Motorhomes and minibuses are not designed to carry goods, so will be taxed as company cars, not vans.

http://www.comcar.co.uk/newcar/companycar/budget/vantax.cfm

Benefit In Kind Tax

2011/12 Van benefit is a flat rate of £3000

2011/12 Van fuel benefit is a flat rate of £550

This is normally much cheaper than the benefit in kind on cars, try these calculators and compare the difference in tax.

Car Tax Calculator http://cccfcalculator.hmrc.gov.uk/CCF0.aspx

Van Tax Calculator http://www.vantax.co.uk/newcar/companycar/vancalc/g1select.cfm?clk=3

If your private use is insignificant then there is no benefit in kind.

‘Insignificant’ other private use means that the employee’s private use of the van in addition to ordinary commuting is very much an exception to normal usage and only lasts for short periods on an occasional and irregular basis. For example:

  • making a slight detour to buy a newspaper on the way to work counts as insignificant private use
  • an employee using a van to do their weekly shopping counts as more than insignificant private use – see the next section for the rules that apply in this case

http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/paye/exb/a-z/v/vans.htm#1

Capital Allowances and Annual Investment Allowance (AIA)

You can claim capital allowances on Vans as Plant & Machinery and they aren’t subject to the same restrictions as Cars, so if you are planning to buy a van now would be a good time as the Capital Allowances are higher before April 2012.

From April 2012 the rates of capital allowances will be reduced from (a) 20% to 18% and from on the Main Rate Pool (b) 10% to 8% for  ‘special rate’ expenditure respectively. At the same time the maximum amount of the Annual Investment Allowances (AIA) will be reduced to £25,000 a year (currently £100,000). So you might want to consider buying assets prior to April 2012 to take advantage of the current rates.

steve@bicknells.net

Tax Year End is coming – are you ready? Reply

Not long to go now, the 5th April 2012 will be here before you know it.

So what should you do to makesure you save as much tax as possible?

Here are my top tips:

Companies & Businesses

From April 2012 the rates of capital allowances will be reduced from (a) 20% to 18% and from on the Main Rate Pool (b) 10% to 8% for  ‘special rate’ expenditure respectively. At the same time the maximum amount of the Annual Investment Allowances (AIA) will be reduced to £25,000 a year (currently £100,000). So you might want to consider buying assets prior to April 2012 to take advantage of the current rates.

Individuals – use your tax allowances

ISA’s – the current limit is £10,680 of which £5,340 can be in a cash ISA

Pensions – tax relief on pension contributions upto £50,000

Tax Check – check to see if you have paid too much tax and claim a refund if you have https://stevejbicknell.wordpress.com/2012/01/21/is-your-tax-code-right/

Tax rates and Thresholds for 2012/13

HM Treasury have summaries these for you http://cdn.hm-treasury.gov.uk/as2011_rates_and_thresholds_201213.pdf

Do you have any ideas to share?

steve@bicknells.net