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HMRC internal manual

Business Income Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Specific deductions - interest: Withdrawal of capital from a business

This chapter applies for Income Tax purposes to the computation of trade profits and property income. References in the text to a ‘business’ should therefore be taken to include both trades and property businesses. The chapter does not apply for Corporation Tax purposes, where there are separate rules in the loan relationships legislation (see CFM11000).

S34 Income Tax (Trading and Other Income) Act 2005

A proprietor of a business may withdraw the profits of the business and the capital they have introduced to the business, even though substitute funding then has to be provided by interest bearing loans. The interest payable on the loans is an allowable deduction. This is on the basis that the purpose of the additional borrowing is to provide working capital for the business. There will, though, be an interest restriction if the proprietor’s capital account becomes overdrawn, see BIM45705 onwards.

Example 1

Ms D talks to her bank manager about how well her trade is doing and the manager agrees to increase her business overdraft facility by £10,000. She increases the level of her cash drawings from the trade by £1,000 a month, so she is withdrawing part of her capital as well as the profits being earned by the business. Her capital account does not become overdrawn. The interest payable on the increased overdraft is an allowable deduction.

Example 2

Mr A owns a flat in central London, which he bought ten years ago for £125,000. He has a mortgage of £80,000 on the property. He has been offered a job in Holland and is moving there to live and work. He intends to come back to the UK at some time. He decides to keep his flat and rent it out while he is away. His London flat now has a market value of £375,000.

The opening balance sheet of his rental business shows:

Mortgage £80,000 Property at market value £375,000
Capital account £295,000    

He renegotiates his mortgage on the flat to convert it to a buy to let mortgage and borrows a further £125,000. He withdraws the £125,000, which he then uses to buy a flat in Rotterdam.

The balance sheet at the end of Year 1 shows:

Mortgage     £205,000 Property at market value £375,000
Capital account B/F £295,000      
  Less Drawings £125,000      
  C/F   £170,000    

Although he has withdrawn capital from the business, the interest on the mortgage loan is allowable in full because it is funding the transfer of the property to the business at its open market value at the time the business started. The capital account is not overdrawn.

Example 3

Mr X has taken over the family business, which is a small firm manufacturing plastic dinosaur toys. It does reasonably well, making a profit of £45,000 a year. The factory unit was built 20 years ago at a cost of £150,000 and stands near the centre of town. He has it revalued and negotiates with the bank to increase the business loan facility, secured on the factory. He uses part of his drawings of £150,000 to buy a holiday home in Spain.

Bank loan     £200,000 Factory premises     £300,000
Revaluation reserve     £150,000 Plant & machinery cost £20,000  
Trade creditors     £20,000   less dep’n £10,000 £10,000
        Trade debtors     £10,000
Capital account B/F £55,000          
  Profit for year £45,000          
  Drawings £150,000          
  C/F   £(50,000)        

Although the bank loan is secured on the factory and is shown as a trading liability in the accounts, part of the money has been used to fund drawings in excess of his capital and the profits. The fact that part of the drawings were used to buy a property in Spain does not determine the tax treatment. An interest restriction is due because his drawings were in excess of the profits of the trade available for drawing and the capital he had in the business.

A tax computation adjustment is required to add back interest on £40,000.

This figure is arrived at as follows. The effect of depreciation on plant and machinery needs to be taken into account, as does the funding provided by trade creditors. So the assets which have been funded by the bank loan are the factory cost £150,000, plant and machinery cost £20,000, and trade debtors of £10,000, less the trade creditors of £20,000 = £160,000. As the total loan is £200,000 and only £160,000 has been used for the purposes of the trade then interest on £40,000 of the loan is not allowable as a trading deduction.

Looking at it another way Mr X’s capital account is overdrawn by £50,000. But the accumulated profits have been reduced by depreciation of £10,000, which is a non-cash item. His drawings exceeded the accumulated profits of the trade (before taking into account depreciation) by £40,000, which must have been funded by the increase in the bank loan.

In this example the revaluation of the premises is shown as a separate revaluation reserve on the balance sheet. But it could have been treated within the capital account, to increase the proprietor’s capital account balance. This would not affect the restriction of the loan interest. Mr X’s capital account would be in credit by £100,000, but this would have to be adjusted by reference to depreciation and revaluation.

There is more guidance on overdrawn capital accounts at BIM45705 onwards.