Revenue Note for Guidance
This section provides for the granting of capital allowances for capital expenditure incurred on the construction or refurbishment of certain commercial premises or parts of such premises which are situated in qualifying areas. The construction or refurbishment work must be carried out in the qualifying period.
However, where under section 372AB a Ministerial order designating an area as a qualifying area so specifies, certain of the commercial buildings in that area may or may not qualify for relief under this section. Relief may also be confined to construction or refurbishment work or to the refurbishment of the facade of certain commercial premises.
Generally, capital allowances are available for 100 per cent of the relevant expenditure. An initial allowance of 50 per cent is available to both lessors and owner-occupiers with annual allowances of 4 per cent for the balance. Alternatively, an accelerated allowance known as free depreciation of up to 50 per cent is available to owner-occupiers.
To comply with EU requirements, relief under the section is not available in certain circumstances – see section 372AJ for full details
By virtue of sections 270(4) to (7) and 316, the amount of capital expenditure incurred in the year 2007 and in the period 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2008 must be reduced to 75 per cent and 50 per cent respectively of the amount attributable to the period involved. An overall cap also applies in relation to the amount of expenditure incurred in the period 1 January 2007 to 31 July 2008 which may qualify for relief.
(1) The section applies to commercial premises such as shops, restaurants etc. situated in a qualifying area which are used for the purposes of a trade or profession or are let on a commercial basis. A part of a building or structure which is situated in a qualifying area may also qualify. Industrial buildings, hotels and any part of a premises used as a dwelling are excluded. Offices and premises with a small office content or the facade of either of these categories may or may not be selected, to qualify for relief under this section, in orders made under section 372AB. Additionally, the orders may have confined relief to either construction or refurbishment work.
(2)(a) Subject to the modifications set out in subsections (3) and (4) and section 372AJ, the provisions of the Tax Acts relating to capital allowances for industrial buildings or structures apply to qualifying premises, despite anything to the contrary in those provisions (for example, the exclusion of allowances for retail shops in section 268). Those provisions, which specifically relate to the use of premises for a trade, are so applied as if a qualifying premises were at all times it is a qualifying premises an industrial building or structure within section 268(1)(a) (for example, a mill, factory or other similar premises) and as if any activity carried on in the qualifying premises (or in the building, the facade of which is a qualifying premises) which is not a trade were a trade. The reference to the qualifying premises being so treated “at all times at which it is a qualifying premises” ensures that a change in the nature of the use of the premises from, say, use as a shop to use as a restaurant constitutes continuance of use as a qualifying premises.
(2)(a) The relieving provision of this section (subsection (2)(a)) is also subject to sections 270(4) to (7) and section 316(2B). Under those sections, any capital expenditure incurred in the year 2007 and the period 1 January 2008 to 31 July 2008 is subject to the respective reductions to 75 per cent and 50 per cent of the relevant amount attributable for the period involved (see notes on section 270).
Additionally, by virtue of the provisions of section 270(7), the amount of expenditure incurred in the period 1 January 2007 to 31 July 2008 which may be taken into account in calculating capital allowances is capped at the amount of expenditure, projected to be incurred post 31 December 2006, which was certified by the local authority. This cap will apply prior to the application of the respective reductions to 75 per cent and 50 per cent of the capital expenditure for the period involved (see notes on section 270(7)).
Capital expenditure is regarded as incurred in a period only if it is attributable to work carried out in that period (see notes on section 316(2B)).
(2)(b) Allowances are available only in respect of capital expenditure incurred on the construction or refurbishment of a qualifying premises during the qualifying period (see subsection (5) also).
The effect of subsection (2) is to make annual writing-down allowances of 4 per cent available under section 272 in respect of qualifying expenditure. The writing-down allowances are available to both owner-occupiers and lessors of qualifying premises.
(3)(a) An industrial building (initial) allowance of 50 per cent of qualifying expenditure is made available under section 271. The initial allowance is available to both owner-occupiers and lessors of qualifying premises.
(3)(b) Alternatively, free depreciation (an acceleration of the annual writing-down allowances) of up to 50 per cent of qualifying expenditure is made available under section 273. Free depreciation is available only to owner-occupiers of qualifying premises.
The balance of the qualifying expenditure may be written off at 4 per cent per annum where initial allowance or free depreciation is claimed.
(4) Where a sale or other event which normally might give rise to a balancing charge under section 274 occurs in relation to a qualifying premises, a balancing charge is not to be made if that event occurs more than 13 years after the qualifying premises was first used or, in the case where refurbishment expenditure on the qualifying premises qualified for capital allowances, more than 13 years after that expenditure was incurred.
(5) The capital expenditure which is to be relieved must be expenditure incurred on work carried out during the qualifying period. Where work commences, but is not completed, in the qualifying period, only the part of the expenditure referable to the work carried out in that period qualifies for relief.
This provision negates, for the purposes only of determining the amount of expenditure to be relieved under this section, other provisions of the Tax Acts which, by treating expenditure as incurred later than the carrying out of the work, might otherwise deprive a person of relief under this section. The provisions so negated are—
Relevant Date: Finance Act 2021