There are a range of capital allowances available to businesses and you should find out all of the ones which are available to your company. It is certainly something you should discuss with your accountant, although understanding how they work will help you to plan your business more effectively.
Capital allowances can be claimed when you have bought items such as property, machinery and equipment which are used for business purposes. It doesn't apply to leased goods and is not designed for general expenditure (classed as expenses). The central idea of capital allowances is that you can deduct the cost of significant but relatively infrequent expenditure from your company's profits. By doing this you can reduce the amount of corporation tax that you pay. Ensure you keep all receipts and paperwork for all your equipment purchases (don't forget IT). Also be aware that the government is keen to offer incentives for cars with low emissions and other greener types of equipment.
Types of allowances
Annual Investment Allowance (AIA): All companies, regardless of size, can claim £50,000 AIA which can be deducted from your profits thus saving corporation tax.
First Year Allowances: also enable you to claim 100% of allowances for certain types of environmentally friendly or green equipment. Check with HMRC or your advisors on what qualifies.
Plant and Machinery Allowance (PMA): The types of items which can be included in PMA is very broad. You often also have the chance to claim for these assets throughout their lifetime, not just in the first year.
Enhanced Capital Allowances: These are similar to PMAs but can only be claimed in the first year and are designed for environmentally friendly or low emission purchases
Research and Development Allowance: If you are spending money on R&D then you can claim up to 175% of those costs (if you are a small or medium sized business) against your profits.
There are a range of other allowances for different sectors and industries and if you think any of them might apply to your business, you should investigate and discuss with your advisors the following:
Industrial Buildings Allowance and Enterprise Zone Allowances
Business Premises Renovation Allowance
Agricultural Buildings Allowance
Flat Conversion Allowances
Mineral Extraction Allowance
Know How Allowance
Assured Tenancy Allowance