Clause 13 - Structures and buildings allowances: allowance statements

Finance (No. 2) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 9:45 am on 14 December 2021.

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Question proposed, That the clause stand part of the Bill.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Financial Secretary to the Treasury 10:00, 14 December 2021

Clause 13 makes provisions to improve the operation of the structures and buildings allowances for taxpayers. The clause will require relevant allowance statements to include the date that qualifying expenditure is incurred or treated as incurred in cases where its absence could prevent future owners of an asset from claiming the full amount that they are entitled to.

The SBA allows companies to reduce their taxable profits each year by 3% on the cost of construction, acquisition, renovation or conversion of non-residential buildings and structures. The investment is fully relieved after 33 and a third years. A business must hold a valid allowance statement to claim SBA. That document records information such as the relevant building or structure and the amount of qualifying expenditure incurred. It is passed on to subsequent owners to ensure the right records are kept for an asset.

The allowance period is the period over which SBA can be claimed, and it typically begins on the date when the structure or building is first brought into non-residential use. However, in cases where expenditure is incurred or treated as incurred after non-residential use has commenced, the allowance period will begin from that later date. That may be the case where renovation work is being carried out in a multistorey office building and the first tenants move in to one floor of the office building even though some construction continues on a different floor.

Without the inclusion of that date on the allowance statement, subsequent owners of a structure or building may not claim all the relief they are entitled to. Instead, they may reasonably assume that the allowance period began on the day the asset was first brought into non-residential use, not the date of the subsequent expenditure. Clarity for businesses on the remaining length of the allowance period for each portion of expenditure means they will be able to claim the full relief to which they are entitled.

The changes made by clause 13 are wholly relieving and will only benefit firms towards the end of the allowance period of 33 and a third years. The measure will apply across the UK. The clause will be effective for qualifying expenditure incurred or treated as incurred on or after the date of Royal Assent of the Bill. Therefore, it will not be retrospective and will not impact allowance statements already in existence. Clause 13 ensures that, in future, businesses can claim the full tax relief to which they are entitled.

Photo of James Murray James Murray Shadow Financial Secretary (Treasury)

Clause 13 concerns the structures and buildings allowance statements. As we heard, it introduces a new requirement for allowance statements to include the date that qualifying expenditure is incurred or treated as incurred when that is later than the date on which the building or structure was first brought into non-residential use. The clause has effects for qualifying expenditure incurred or treated as incurred on or after the date of Royal Assent.

As we know, SBAs are a capital allowance available for the cost of constructing, renovating, converting or acquiring non-residential structures and buildings. When SBAs were first introduced, from 29 October 2018, the allowances were given at 2% per annum of qualifying expenditure on a straight-line basis. That rate was increased to 3% per annum with effect from April 2020. The period over which SBAs are available to be claimed is known as the allowance period.

A business must hold an allowance statement to claim SBAs, which includes certain details such as the date the asset is first brought into non-residential use. As we heard, that is normally the date that the SBA’s allowance period of 33 and a third years commences. However, where qualifying expenditure is incurred after the asset is brought into non-residential use, the allowance period starts on a later date. The new paragraph inserted by the clause adds an additional requirement to record that later date on the allowance statement, where relevant, to ensure the correct amount of SBAs may be claimed over the allowance period. The minor amendment to section 270IA(4)(b) of the Capital Allowances Act 2001 ensures consistency with the new paragraph.

We do not oppose the clause, as it is important to ensure the correct amount of SBA is claimed over the correct time to avoid unnecessary hardship or disruption.

Photo of Lucy Frazer Lucy Frazer The Financial Secretary to the Treasury

I am happy that the hon. Gentleman recognises that this is a clause worthy of Bill.

Question put and agreed to.

Clause 13 accordingly ordered to stand part of the Bill.