Can I make a claim myself? – Of course you can!
Claiming capital allowances is a complicated process but you can still make your own claim if you feel that you have the necessary knowledge and expertise.
As a starting point we would recommend that you consult the Capital Allowance Act 2001, the 2008 Finance Bill, and the proposed changes in the Finance Act 2012, all of which can be found in the below links:
You must make sure you have qualifying expenditure and a qualifying activity and you must be clear on which items will be qualifying for you.
HMRC’s manual on capital allowances and the Business Link site also provide valuable information on how to claim capital allowances. They can be found at the following links:
You then need to establish if anyone else has ever made a capital allowance claim on the same plant and machinery. If they have then your claim will be restricted to the disposal value that they brought into account when they sold the relevant interest. It is not just the previous vendor that you need to approach; all previous owners and tenants back to 1996 need to be contacted and you have a burden of proof to show that there are no restrictions that prevent you from claiming or limit what you are entitled to claim.
Once you have a thorough understanding of what you can claim the next step is to instruct a qualified surveyor to calculate the reconstruction cost of the property at the date your acquired it. They should also be able to give you a detailed breakdown of all the component costs of the property and help you quantify the value of any claimable plant and machinery.
On receipt of your surveyors report you then need to apportion your plant and machinery and correctly allocate it to the relevant tax pools. Section 562 of the Capital Allowances Act says this must be done on a just and reasonable basis. You can demonstrate that you have done this however you wish as long as it’s fair and reasonable.
Once you have calculated your claim you are ready to prepare a report. To ensure that the claim is properly understood by your tax inspector you should try and compose a report that HMRC can understand easily and shows all the calculations clearly.. The calculations you need can be found in the Capital Allowance Act 2001. The report should clearly show what items you are claiming and how you calculated the apportionment.
Further information can also be obtained in this very good text book produced by a leading tax publisher.
You will need to check with your accountant, if you have one, to make sure the claim is submitted as part of your tax return for the correct period.
We hope this information has been valuable to you. Good luck, happy claiming.