Plant and Machinery Allowances (PMA) can typically be claimed only by the owner of the asset. However, in hire purchase contracts, the hirer can claim PMA on the hired asset even though legally that person is not yet the owner. The legal owner, the person who buys the asset and hires it out, cannot claim PMA.
The case with fixtures is also similar. Fixtures are attachments to buildings or land that are considered permanent and provide a lasting improvement to the building or land. If the building or land is leased out to a lessee and the latter incurs expenditure on adding such a fixture, that person is not legally the owner of the fixture.
However, in such a case, fixtures legislation allows the lessee to claim PMA on the fixture. Even if the expenditure on the fixtures is incurred by the lessor, that person might make a joint election with the lessee under CAA01/S183 (1)(e) whereby the lessee becomes entitled to claim PMA on the fixture. Fixtures legislation treats the lessee as the owner of the fixtures in such a case and disallows the lessor from claiming PMA on the same fixtures.
A fixture is different from chattel. Chattels are also tangible just like fixtures. However, they are moveable and have not been affixed to the building or land. Even chattels can become fixtures once they are fixed to the immoveable property on a permanent basis to improve the property. For example, a central heating system that has not become part of the building is considered a chattel (it can still be moved to another building and fixed there, for example).
Even though tenant’s fixtures, i.e. fixtures affixed by the tenant to the immoveable property is distinct from landlord’s fixtures in that the tenant can remove these fixtures when that person leaves, the distinction between tenant’s and landlord’s fixtures is not relevant in the context of fixtures legislation.