What you can claim on
You can claim capital allowances on items that you keep to use in your business - these are known as ‘plant and machinery’.
In most cases you can deduct the full cost of these items from your profits before tax using annual investment allowance (AIA).
If you’re a sole trader or partnership and have an income of £150,000 or less a year, you may be able to use a simpler system called cash basis instead.
What does not count as plant and machinery
You cannot claim plant and machinery allowances on:
- things you lease (unless you have a hire purchase contract or long funding lease) - you must own them
- items used only for business entertainment, for example a yacht or karaoke machine
- structures, for example bridges, roads, docks
- buildings, including doors, gates, shutters, mains water and gas systems
You may be able to claim structures and buildings allowance on structures and buildings.
What counts as plant and machinery
Plant and machinery includes:
- items that you keep to use in your business, including cars
- costs of demolishing plant and machinery
- parts of a building considered integral, known as ‘integral features’
- some fixtures, for example fitted kitchens or bathroom suites
- alterations to a building to install plant and machinery - this does not include repairs
Claim repairs as business expenses if you’re a sole trader or partnership - deduct from your profits as a business cost if you’re a limited company.
Integral features are:
- lifts, escalators and moving walkways
- space and water heating systems
- air-conditioning and air cooling systems
- hot and cold water systems (but not toilet and kitchen facilities)
- electrical systems, including lighting systems
- external solar shading
You can claim for fixtures, for example:
- fitted kitchens
- bathroom suites
- fire alarm and CCTV systems
You can claim if you rent or own the building, but only the person who bought the item can claim.
When you buy a building from a previous business owner you can only claim for integral features and fixtures that they claimed for.
If you let residential property
You can only claim for items to be used in residential property if either:
- you run a furnished holiday lettings business
- the item is to be used in the common parts of a residential building, for example a table in the hallway of a block of flats
There are special rules if you run a care business.