Since April 2017, companies have had huge flexibility in how they use their carried-forward losses. Where losses arise from 1 April 2017 onwards:
•companies have been able to offset them against total profits;
•the relief is no longer given automatically, so partial claims can be made; and
•group relief has been extended to carried-forward losses too.
Losses arising prior to that date which were carried forward had to be ‘streamed’. This meant that companies could only set those losses against future profits from the same source. If the loss-making company was part of a group, it could only carry losses forwards against its own profits.