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HMRC internal manual

Business Leasing Manual

Defining long funding leases: funding leases that are not long funding leases: short leases: excluded leases: examples of background plant or machinery

The first list, in article 2 of SI2007/303, provides examples of the kinds of plant or machinery that should be treated as being background plant or machinery for a building. These are:

  1. heating and air conditioning installations,
  2. ceilings which are part of an air conditioning system,
  3. hot water installations,
  4. electrical installations that provide power to a building, such as high and low voltage switchgear, all sub-mains distribution systems and standby generators,
  5. mechanisms, including automatic control systems, for opening and closing doors, windows and vents,
  6. escalators and passenger lifts,
  7. window cleaning installations,
  8. fittings such as fitted cupboards, blinds, curtains and associated mechanical equipment,
  9. demountable partitions,
  10. protective installations such as lightning protection, sprinkler and other equipment for containing or fighting fires, fire alarm systems and fire escapes, and
  11. building management systems.

Note that the list is not exhaustive - it just provides examples - and that it refers ‘kinds’ of plant or machinery. The definitions should therefore not be interpreted too narrowly but equally if the plant or machinery in question is to be background plant or machinery it should of a similar kind to one of those listed at items (a) to (k) above or otherwise meet the criteria in the primary legislation.

If it is argued that plant or machinery meets the definition in the primary legislation, but is not obviously one of the kinds listed, please contact CTIS (CT&BIT) for advice before agreeing that plant or machinery is background plant or machinery. The principle reason for this request is to ensure consistency and, where appropriate, to enable this guidance to be updated to include examples of background plant or machinery that are not explicitly included in the list above.