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HMRC internal manual

Capital Allowances Manual

Plant and Machinery Allowances (PMA): meaning of plant and machinery: whether an asset is plant is a question of fact

Lord Cameron said in the Scottish and Newcastle case *CA21130  “the question of what is properly to be regarded as plant can only be answered in the context of the particular industry concerned and possibly in light also of the particular circumstances of the individual taxpayer’s own trade”*. It is clear from these comments that were made in the House of Lords that the fact that something is plant in one case does not mean that it is plant in another.

For example, a ship used as a floating restaurant that is owned by the proprietor is not plant. However, a ship used by its owner in a trade of shipping is.

It is also clear from Lord Cameron’s comments that in general if you take a case about the meaning of plant or machinery to the Commissioners and lose you should not express dissatisfaction. The decision will turn on the facts that the Commissioners have found.