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HMRC internal manual

Business Leasing Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Introduction: Leasing: Lease classification

Accounting Standards classify leases as finance leases or operating leases.

The nature of the asset does not affect the classification of the lease. The characteristics of a finance lease of land are therefore the same as those of a finance lease of plant or machinery.

Lease classification - whether a lease is a finance lease or an operating lease - may be important for tax purposes. An outline of the distinction is at BLM00040 and BLM00045. Further details are at BLM11000 onwards.