What are fixtures for capital allowance purposes? What are the consequences of something being a fixture?

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to fixtures. 

Fixtures are Plant and machinery which have been installed or fixed in a property (including land) and have become part of the building.

  • Fixtures are subject to special rules for capital allowances purposes.
  • Ownership of fixtures passes with the property to the new owner when it changes hands.
  • Integral features are a sub-category of fixture which come with extra rules covering repairs and improvements.
  • If capital allowances have not previously been fully claimed on fixtures, the new owner is treated as having incurred qualifying expenditure for capital allowances purposes on the cost of fixtures acquired.
  • Changes made to the fixtures rules by the 2012 Finance Act mean that the seller and buyer have a two-year time limit in recognising and accounting for fixtures.
  • Ideally, the seller should survey their own building as the value of the fixtures and their value in tax allowances may vastly affect the valuation of the building.
  • For sales since April 2014 the seller is required to not only set the value of the fixtures, this is normally via an s.198 election, but also to pool its expenditure on fixtures, otherwise the buyer may be restricted in the allowances they are able to claim in the future, see Fixtures: Overview.
  • Prior to the FA 2012 changes, fixtures were frequently overlooked when a building changed hands: those dealing with the transaction were often unaware of their existence or lacked the expertise to survey the building.
  • The purchase price of a building including its fixtures is apportioned according to s.562 CAA 2001 on a just and reasonable basis.
  • Reapportioning the purchase price may also affect tax on goodwill and Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT).
  • It is in the interest of all owners or potential buyers of commercial property to research the capital allowances history of a building prior to ownership/acquisition and consider whether it is possible to claim unclaimed capital allowances.

Rates of allowances

Fixtures are subject to different Rates of allowances depending on the type of purchaser, the date of purchase, the proposed use and whether they qualify as:

Any person who is buying or selling a commercial property, or block of flats, should consider whether allowances have been fully claimed on fixtures by previous owners. The new owner of the building will be able to claim any unclaimed allowances providing they can establish the history of previous claims.

Fixtures and SDLT

See:  SDLT: Chattels & Fixtures

Useful guides on this topic

Fixtures: Overview
What are fixtures? How do I claim lost or unclaimed fixtures? When must fixtures be pooled? What is the fixed value requirement?

Seller: should I make an s.198 election to fix the sale price of fixtures? 
This quick guide outlines some advantages and disadvantages of making a joint election with a buyer under section 198 of the Capital Allowances Act 2001 in order to fix the sale price of fixtures when a building is sold.

Buyer: should I elect to fix the purchase price of fixtures? 
This outlines making a joint election with the seller under section 198 of the Capital Allowances Act 2001 in order to fix the sale price of certain fixtures. 

Fixtures case study: lost fixtures
A case study to show property owners and their advisers that they should take a closer look at fixtures and integral features when buying or selling commercial property. You may lose valuable tax relief.

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