The tax treatment of the sale of fixtures and fittings included in the sale or purchase of a commercial building changed from April 2014. From that date, the buyer of a building that contains fixtures can only claim plant and machinery allowances (PMA) if the expenditure on the fixtures is pooled before the sale.
The seller and buyer must also either:
- formally agree a value for fixtures within 2 years of a transfer
- start formal proceedings to agree the value within that time
The formal agreement to satisfy the fixed value requirement is usually achieved when the buyer and the seller make a valid tax election known as a Section 198 claim.
This election effectively binds both the seller and purchaser of a commercial property to an agreed valuation for fixtures and fittings included in the sale. The election is irrevocable and cannot be subsequently changed.
There is a lower Writing Down Allowances (WDA) rate of 8% available for certain long life assets and integral features. A standard 18% WDA is available for fixtures and fittings that do not qualify for the lower 8% rate.