Capital Allowances

As a business you can claim tax allowances, called capital allowances, on certain purchases or investments. This means you can deduct a proportion of these costs from your taxable profits and reduce your tax bill.
Capital allowances are available on plant and machinery, buildings – including converting space above commercial premises to flats for renting – and research and development.

Capital allowance on plant and machinery
You can claim capital allowances on:
• the cost of vans and cars
• machines
• scaffolding, ladders, tools, equipment
• computers and similar items you use in your business
• expenditure on plant and machinery
If you’re buying equipment, 25 % is the standard allowance for businesses each year. This will reduce to 20% from April 2008.
You can claim additional allowances in the first tax year after the expenditure was made. This is called first -year allowance. First-year allowances are a tax allowance you can claim on certain purchases or investments in the year you buy them.
Small businesses can claim first-year allowances of 50% for qualifying investments. Medium-sized businesses can claim 40%, and in certain circumstances both small and medium-sized businesses can claim allowances of 100 % (referred to by HMRC as Enhanced Capital Allowances for Energy-Saving Investments), in the year they make the purchase. However, for most plant and machinery, 25 % is the usual capital allowance. There are also allowances for investment in research and development.

Capital allowance on buildings
You can claim capital allowances on the cost of:
• constructing industrial or agricultural buildings, commercial buildings in enterprise zones, and certain types of hotel
• buying or constructing a building to use for a qualifying trade such as manufacturing or processing
• renovating or converting space above shops and other commercial premises to provide flats for rent – for example, money spent on building dividing walls or fitting a new kitchen
• converting or renovating unused business premises in a disadvantaged area on or after 11 April 2007
You cannot claim capital allowances on the cost of:
• houses, showrooms, offices and shops
• the land itself, such as buying the freehold of a property or acquiring a lease
• extensions, unless it provides access to qualifying flats
• developing adjacent land
• furnishing qualifying flats
The allowance for buying industrial and agricultural buildings is 4 %, in both the first and subsequent years. You can usually claim 100% of the cost of converting underused or vacant space above commercial property into flats or converting or renovating unused business premises in a disadvantaged area.
If you need to know more about capital allowances you can contact Taxfile‘s tax accountants in South London and they will make sure you make the best of your capital allowances in order to minimize your tax liability.

Taxfile knows everything about taxi drivers’ tax!

There are a few things that need to be considered when it comes to taxi drivers’ tax. Among them we can mention the following:

•Mileage Allowances
Taxi drivers can claim as an alternative to vehicle running costs mileage allowances of 40p for the first 10,000 miles and 25p per mile thereafter. You may not claim mileage allowance and vehicle running costs. Should you choose to claim the mileage allowance then keep good records of mileage covered, purpose of journey.

•Taxi Capital Allowances
If you bought a vehicle in 2005-06 and used it as a taxi you can claim a first year tax allowance of 40% of the cost of the taxi, restricted to £3,000 for vehicles costing over £12,000. On vehicles purchased in previous tax years you can claim 25% writing down allowance on the balance not yet claimed. If you have bought and sold a vehicle used as a taxi during the financial year the tax allowance is restricted to any loss made on resale and any profit made over the written down value is taxable as a balancing charge. First year allowance in the current tax year 2006-07 is 50%.

• Taxis bought on Hire Purchase
Claim capital allowances on the original cost of the vehicle, interest and other charges count as business expenses and go in the self assessment tax return.

•Taxi Running Costs
When completing the self assessment tax return taxi drivers should enter fuel costs as cost of sales not motoring expenses. Do not claim fuel expenses when you are on holiday, the revenue will check should they inquire into your self assessment tax return.Taxi running costs also include repairs, servicing and parts including tyres, road tax, taxi insurance and AA/RAC membership. Include radio hire and taxi office costs in general administrative expenses.

• Household expenses
If you run your taxi business from home you can claim a proportion of household expenses as business expenses. Household expenses are likely to be disallowed unless they are either specific to the business or a specific area of your home is devoted entirely to your business.

• Spouse Costs
You can claim expenses for partners who work for your taxi business and payments up to £94 would not attract income tax or national insurance however any payments claimed must be real payments for real work done. The Revenue naturally adopt a strict view on expenses claimed for partner work as it is an area some people might use to reduce the tax liability.

•Other Expenses
The best method of ensuring the taxi drivers tax bill is as low as possible in the future is undoubtedly to meticulously maintain good records of all taxi receipts and expenses and mileage covered which offers the opportunity for taxi drivers to compare vehicle running costs against mileage allowances and choose the most tax efficient option. General if the taxi cab capital allowances are high vehicle running costs will be the best option and if taxi cab capital allowances are low then mileage allowances may well legally increase the costs you can claim and save you money.

Taxfile in South London taxi and cab drivers choose the best accounting option in order to reduce their tax liability.
Taxfile can also provide you with a record-keeper to fill in with all your takings and your expenses for the year. For more information, you can visit us on