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HMRC internal manual

Business Leasing Manual

HM Revenue & Customs
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Taxation of leases that are not long funding leases: sale and leaseback: application of sale proceeds - associated arrangements

In some cases there may be arrangements, associated with sale and lease-back, which prevent the lessee from using the sale proceeds as it sees fit in its business. For example 

  • the greater part of the funds may have to be placed in an account with a bank associated with the finance lessor on terms whereby the deposit has to be used to make or back rental payments under the lease;
  • alternatively, the finance lessor may require a guarantee from a party independent of the lessee (in practice another bank) that the rentals will be paid and that guarantee obtained by means of a similar ‘collateral deposit’.

There are a number of other variations on ‘defeasance arrangements’, as they are sometimes called, of this nature. Where the sale and finance leaseback is of plant or machinery CAA01/S225 is in point, but other arrangements may be vulnerable under more general law. If in dealing with a lessee you come across arrangements of this nature please do not agree the lessee’s computations but instead report the case to Counter Avoidance.