Annual Investment Allowance

Capital allowances are set by the government at fixed rates at which a business can claim the expenditure on fixed assets against the taxable profit.

From April 2008 the 50 per cent and 40 per cent first year allowances was replaced with a 100 per cent Annual Investment Allowance for capital purchases in any one year of up to £50,000.

On 6 April 2008 the annual writing down allowance (WDA) for plant and equipment was reduced from the previous 25 per cent to 20 per cent per annum. This writing down allowance is applied to the written down value of equipment brought forward from earlier tax years.

The annual investment allowance applies to all assets categorised as plant and machinery which includes most fixed assets including plant, equipment, fixtures and fittings, computer equipment and commercial vehicles.

Important to note is that qualifying plant and equipment expenditure does not include Motor Cars.

Motor vehicles are now subject to a reduced writing down allowance in the first year of 20 per cent.

The annual investment allowance does not replace the 100 per cent first year allowance schemes currently applicable to various green and environmental schemes and approved research and development projects ( for example Research & Development Allowances or Business Premises Renovation Allowances). So these schemes will be unaffected by the introduction of the AIA. The annual investment allowance is complimentary to these schemes.

Another important thing worth remembering is that for the financial year starting April 2008 small businesses which have a written down balance for tax purposes of under 1,000 pounds will be entitled to write off the total written down value as a capital allowance.

If by any chance you decide selling the asset after claiming the AIA, the proceeds of the sale would go into your capital allowances calculation and you would have a balancing charge to the value of the sale proceeds which would be treated as a taxable income.

If you have any queries regarding AIA or any tax-related matter, Taxfile’s accountants in South London and tax advisers in Exeter are here to guide you through.

Deferred tax scheme for loss-making companies

One of the better tax-related things to come out of the Chancellor’s recent budget is the potential help some struggling companies may receive from HMRC. Companies who anticipate making a trading loss in the current tax year may be allowed to take the anticipated loss into account earlier than previously possible, when scheduling payments of Corporation Tax or Income Tax. Such businesses will no longer need to wait until the end of their complete accounting period (which is often some considerable time ahead) before they can take probable losses into account for payment of tax. Qualifying businesses may be able to agree extensions to the time in which they can pay with a couple of provisos: firstly that they really are likely to make a trading loss in the current year and secondly that they are genuinely unable to pay straight away or enter into a reasonable instalment agreement with HMRC.

Since launch, more than 110,000 businesses have already agreed deferred tax payment arrangements, equating to around £2 billion. Typically, repayments are scheduled over 3 to 6 months. The scheme is administered by the BPSS (Business Payment Support Service).

For further information and help with any of your tax affairs, contact Taxfile, accountants based in Tulse Hill, South London (tel: 020 8761 8000) or go to the relevant HMRC web page.

HMRC launch ‘Tax Matters’ educational site

Tax Matters” is the new educational website from HM Revenue & Customs, aimed particularly at young people aged between 11 and 19, although also being a resource for anyone wishing to learn more about taxation and public services.

The main areas explored on the site are Income Tax, National Insurance and ‘Tax & Society’, an exploration of how the government gets and spends its money. This is all done through the use of interactive resources, such as videos, games and quizzes, along with key facts, figures and info.

PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) education will become a statutory part of the National Curriculum by 2011 so this is a great resource for both teachers and students.

London Employers – beat the 19 May deadline!

Employer annual returns filing deadlineIf you are one of London’s 165,000 employers, you only have a matter of days to meet the deadline for filing your Employer Annual Returns — the deadline is 19 May! Miss it and you could end up with a costly penalty for filing late.

HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) also requires large employers (that’s those employing 50 or more people) to file their 2008/2009 Employer Annual Return online. Again, if they don’t, they may well end up having to pay an additional penalty.

If you have less than 50 employees you do not have to use the system but there is a good incentive to do so anyway, in the shape of a £75 payment – tax-free!

Further information from HMRC is available although if you would prefer to have some personal help from South London-based accountants Taxfile, then they know the system extremely well and can make sure everthing is done correctly for you, and on time. Be quick though …. the 19 May deadline is ony a few days away at time of writing.

Taxfile can be contacted on 020 8761 8000 and it may help to know that many different languages are spoken.