Buying or selling a commercial property

Owners of business property will be aware that certain parts of commercial buildings are treated as fixtures and fittings and capital allowances can be claimed.

From April 2012 sellers of commercial property should ensure that they have maximised any claims for capital allowances and have a full track history available to potential buyers. If appropriate elections are made the buyer will continue to enjoy the benefits of any unclaimed allowances.

Buyers in particular should make sure they get full details of past allowances claimed so that they can evaluate the value of any capital allowances they may be able to claim in the future.

From 2014 if a seller has failed to identify and ‘pool’ the expenditure qualifying for capital allowances (even if tax relief is not claimed) then any buyer will be unable to make a capital allowance claim in respect of this expenditure.

The message is clear. If you own, or are considering the purchase of commercial property before 2014, make sure you obtain professional advice to ensure that valuable tax allowances are not lost. Otherwise, as a seller, you may devalue your property as a prospective purchaser may be prepared to pay less than they would if capital allowances were available.

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