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HMRC internal manual

Capital Allowances Manual

Plant and Machinery Allowances (PMA): meaning of plant and machinery: miscellaneous items that are plant

Accept that these items are plant:

  • central heating systems*,
  • hot water systems*,
  • air conditioning systems*,
  • alarm and sprinkler systems,
  • ventilation systems*,
  • baths,
  • wash basins,
  • toilet suites.


  • Please note - that with effect from 1 April 2008 (CT) and 6 April 2008 (IT) expenditure on these items is separately classified as expenditure on an ‘integral feature’ of a building or structure CA22300, and as such falls to be treated as ‘special rate’ P&M expenditure, entitled to WDAs at the rate of 10% p.a. in the special rate pool. The rate of WDAs in the special rate pool is reduced to 8% for chargeable periods ending on or after 1 April 2012 for businesses within the charge to CT and 6 April 2012 for businesses within the charges to IT.

In general, fixtures and fittings are plant if they are of a permanent and durable nature, that is if they satisfy the 2-year test CA21100, and they were bought for the purposes of the trade. Treat furniture including carpets, curtains and linoleum and items like cutlery, crockery, glassware, linen, kitchen utensils and protective clothing in the same way.

A door handle would normally be an integral part of the door to which it is affixed, with the result that it would not qualify for PMAs. Any subsequent replacement of the door handle would then count as a repair of the door. However you should not in practice refuse a PMA claim where this is the treatment adopted in the computations. Some mechanical handles can in any event constitute machines in their own right. If you accept a PMA claim you should deal with any subsequent replacement through the pool of qualifying expenditure in the usual way.

If the taxpayer’s trade involves the creation of an attractive setting or atmosphere and the sale of that setting or atmosphere to their customers, pictures and removable wall decorations specially chosen to help create that setting or atmosphere will be plant CA21130. Other pictures and removable wall decorations are not plant. They will not be apparatus with which the taxpayer carries on the trade.

If you receive a capital allowance claim for an underground cable system (including television, telecommunications, or electricity supply systems) the costs of installing the cables will include the costs of excavating the land and providing ducting that houses the cables. The cabling and the ducting may be recognised as separate components of the asset in the claimant’s accounts (so that they are depreciated at different rates). Where the ducting is installed as a direct incident of the installation of the cabling, the costs of the ducting and the associated excavation are, for capital allowance purposes, part of the costs incurred on the provision of the cabling regardless of the treatment in the accounts. In these circumstances, if the cabling is not itself a long-life asset, the long-life asset rules are not separately applicable to the ducting.

In television hire businesses television sets that are hired out are plant or machinery.

You may have to deal with a business that both hires out television sets and sells them. If so, the television sets which are hired out will be plant if the hiring is a separate and distinct business activity and the stock of sets for hiring out is separate from the stock of sets for sale. If the trader takes sets to hire out from his general trading stock you should follow the guidance at CA11530 about assets appropriated from trading stock.

Treat assets like video recorders as you treat television sets.