Accountant issues tax relief warning

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Businesses across Cornwall are being warned that a valuable commercial property tax relief is being axed within weeks.

The Business Premises Renovation Allowance (BPRA) is being withdrawn by the Government at the end of March after ten years.

BPRA provides businesses with a 100% first year tax allowance for expenditure on converting or renovating certain unused business premises in ‘disadvantaged areas’, which include Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.

Now PKF Francis Clark tax consultant, Daniel Sladen, is urging businesses across the county to move quickly to avoid losing additional tax allowances.

He said: “BPRA has been a valuable allowance which we have helped a number of our clients to claim and we are disappointed to see it withdrawn.

“It is of particular value because it can provide tax relief for costs relating to the structure of a building in addition to the usual allowances for equipment, fixtures and fittings. Once the relief is withdrawn, some of the previously eligible expenditure may not attract any tax relief at all until such time as the building is sold.”

Sladen, based at PKF Francis Clark’s Truro office, added: “It is unlikely that new projects can now be started before the allowance closes, but Cornish businesses already planning or carrying out work that may qualify should press on quickly in order to benefit from the additional tax allowance.”

Daniel recommended that businesses with a possible claim for the allowance should contact their accountants or tax advisers as soon as possible to ensure that they do not miss out.

BPRA was introduced in 2007 as an incentive to bring former shops and business premises back into use, originally for five years but was later extended to run until 2017.

The allowance will end on March 31 for companies and April 5 for unincorporated businesses and individuals.

Founded in 1919, PKF Francis Clark has a team of more than 600 people and 60 partners in eight offices across Devon, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Somerset and Wiltshire.