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Wetherspoons win in HMRC lavatory probe

HMRC has examined Weatherspoons’ toilets in an increasingly over-zelous tax treatment of capital allowances

Revenue & Customs
(HMRC) is said to be taking an increasingly harsh line
on many business claims, including an over-zelous tax treatment of pub group
toilet refurbishment scheme.

Wetherspoons had claimed it could offset some of the cost of renovating two
of its pubs against its tax bill, using the current system of capital
allowances, The Daily Telegraph reports.

Part of the pubs’ tax-deductible improvements were the partition dividers in
its toilets and Wetherspoons argued these were additional and not part of the
premises and therefore qualified as fixtures under the existing plant and
machinery allowance rules.

HMRC disagreed. But a tribunal of special tax commissioners, having examined
documents in seven ring binders and visited both pubs in question – Prince of
Wales and the First Post – found in Wetherspoons’ favour. However, an attempt by
Wetherspoons to write down the cost of decorative panelling in the pubs was

Further reading:

Capital allowances legislation to hit business

story in The Daily Telegraph

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