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Capital Allowances Act 2001


1488.This Part provides for research and development (R&D) allowances. Unlike other Parts the allowances are not labelled as initial, first-year, writing-down or balancing allowances. Allowances are broadly given at a rate of 100%. Balancing charges can recover “excessive allowances”.

1489.The aim is to give traders relief against trading income for capital expenditure on R&D. The R&D must be related to the trade and directly undertaken by the trader or on his or her behalf.

1490.Chapter 1 is introductory. It requires a person to have incurred qualifying expenditure on R&D to get allowances. The Chapter gives the meaning of “research and development” and what may be treated as expenditure on R&D.

1491.Chapter 2 gives the meaning of “qualifying expenditure”. Only traders can have qualifying expenditure and such expenditure must be incurred on R&D which is directly undertaken by the trader or on behalf of the trader. The cost attributable to bare land or most dwellings is not qualifying expenditure.

1492.Chapter 3 deals with allowances and charges on qualifying expenditure. There is no pooling of qualifying expenditure. The rate of allowances is 100%. Allowances are broadly given for the chargeable period in which occurs the later of:

  • the trade starting; or

  • the qualifying expenditure being incurred.

1493.When the trader ceases to own an asset representing qualifying expenditure a disposal value is brought into account (usually for the chargeable period in which it ceases to be owned). Disposal values either restrict allowances on the qualifying expenditure or lead to a balancing charge. Demolition costs may reduce disposal values or qualify for an allowance.

1494.Chapter 4 treats certain additional VAT liabilities as expenditure on R&D and certain additional VAT rebates as disposal values. The consequences of such treatment follow from the earlier Chapters. The additional VAT must be incurred or made by the time the asset in question is destroyed or ceases to be owned.

1495.Chapter 5 contains supplementary provisions including the treatment of allowances as trading expenses and charges as trading receipts.

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