There are a number of capital allowance claims firms targeting businesses which have recently bought or sold commercial property. These ‘experts’ suggest the business needs to pay for a special survey to claim all the capital allowances they are entitled to, and this must be done quickly in order to claim all the allowances due.
In most cases a special survey is not needed. However, it is true that for commercial building sales made since 1 April 2012 the vendor and purchaser must take formal steps (usually an election) to agree the value of fixtures included in that building. This value must be agreed within two years of the transfer of ownership. If agreement cannot be reached the two parties can go to the tax tribunal where the judge will make a decision.
The agreed value for fixtures is brought into the capital allowance pool as the disposal value for the vendor and is added to the capital allowance pool for the purchaser.
There is another change on its way for transfers of commercial buildings from April 2014. The value of fixtures and fittings must be claimed as part of a capital allowances pool by the vendor in an accounting period prior to the sale of the building. If the vendor does not make this claim, the purchaser is barred from claiming any capital allowances for the fixtures it acquires.