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HMRC internal manual

Capital Allowances Manual

PMA: Short life assets: Outline

The short life asset (SLA) legislation lets a taxpayer write off the cost of an asset over the life of the asset. It does this by putting the expenditure in a single asset pool CA23640 and having a balancing adjustment when the asset is disposed of or scrapped. An asset is only a short life asset if the taxpayer elects to treat it as one. Some assets are excluded from SLA treatment. If it turns out that the asset is not a short life asset the expenditure in the SLA pool is transferred to the main pool. There is anti-avoidance legislation that stops a person creating a balancing allowance by transferring an asset for which a SLA election has been made to a connected person at an undervalue.