The UK Rules
Claiming Capital Allowances Reliefs

How to Claim Capital Allowances

Understanding the rules and procedures of claiming capital allowances is key in business. This guide explains how to claim capital allowance relief on business assets to pay less tax.

CLAIM CAPITAL ALLOWANCE: Part of successful business management involves the purchase of assets.

You can claim relief on 'plant and machinery' if it get used in the business, such as:

As a rule, you will deduct some of the value of the asset (or all) from the business profits before paying tax.

Note: There is a cash method of accounting called cash basis. Sole traders or partners with a £150,000 (or less) income per year may find the cash basis system simpler to use.

Working Out the Value of an Item

The value of an item is usually the same as the price you paid for it. But, there may be occasions when you need to use the market value instead. Thus, use the amount you would expect to sell it for if either:

Claiming for other Business Costs

You claim for capital allowances in a different way than you do for the other business costs. Typical expenses that are 'not business assets' include:


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A sole trader or a partner would claim this type of cost as business expenses (not business assets). Whereas, if you are running a limited company you would deduct them as expenses from the profits.

Claiming for other Capital Allowances

Besides business plant and machinery, you can also claim capital allowance relief for:

Letting Out a Residential Property

Different rules on capital allowances apply to items in residential property. To claim reliefs the operation must qualify as a furnished holiday lettings business. That means, each year the residential property must:

Claiming Capital Allowance Relief

There are several ways of claiming the relief. You need to work out the capital allowances and then claim it using the method that applies to you:

Note: The amount that you can claim gets deducted from the business profits. But, when employees claim tax relief they use a different method.

When to make a Claim

Claim the reliefs in the same accounting period that you bought the item to claim the full value under:

You can also claim part of the value using 'writing down allowances'. That works best when you are not claiming the full value. You can carry out this method any time providing you still own the asset.

For the purpose of capital allowance rules and procedures the date you bought the item would be:

What if you buy a business asset under a hire purchase contract? In this case you can claim for the payments 'not yet made' when you start using the item. But, you will not be able to make a claim on the interest payments.


What can be Claimed: Check what types of plant and machinery you can claim capital allowances on.
Annual Investment Allowance: Learn how to deduct the full value of an item that qualifies for AIA.
First Year Allowances: Find out which assets qualify and how to deduct the full value before tax.
Business Cars: Check how to claim capital allowances on cars bought and used by the business.
When Selling an Asset: Check the rules for capital allowances when you sell an asset or give one away.
Working Out Capital Allowances: Calculating the written-down value of an asset using rates and pools.

Claiming Business Capital Allowance Relief in the United Kingdom