Capital allowances are a core part of the UK’s tax system and are of relevance to the great majority of businesses operating in the UK, from a multi-national corporation to a sole trader. HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) estimate the cost of capital allowances to HM Treasury in 2018–19 to have been £17.4bn increasing in 2019–20 to £18.4bn. The total number of claimants in 2018–19 is given as 2.82m.
The most familiar allowances are those available for capital expenditure on plant and machinery. However, depending on the nature of the business, claims may be made under different rules in respect of any of the following: