By Max Clarke

As the nation’s SMEs struggle in the face of January’s VAT rise and rising inflation, Portal Tax Claims- a new specialist capital allowance claims company launched this month- have identified a staggering £5 Billion in unclaimed taxes available to nearly all commercial property owners.

Money spent on improving a property, barring immovable additions to the structure, can be partly offset against the company’s income for tax purposes. Most commercial property owners will think such additions are limited to moveable items like office furniture, but do not realise that money can be claimed for a wide range of often overlooked additions.
The 10 most common additions for capital allowances have been reclaimed are:

1 Air Conditioning
2 Lifts
3 Heating
4 Lighting
5 Car park security
6 Power
7 Switchgear
8 Transformers
9 Fire Alarms
10 Suspended Ceilings

The new company, part of the Portal Group, which, since 2003, has reclaimed over £60m worth of mis-sold endowments and payment protection insurance for over 20,000 customers, aims to help businesses claim over £1bn a year in capital allowances.

Far from an experimental loophole or evasive manoeuvre, capital allowances have been established in UK statutory law since 1878, and thousands of legitimate and successful claims have been made.

Portal Tax Claims estimates that 96% of businesses that own their own properties, or commercial property owners, could be owed a refund. Moreover, Portal charges 6% of the money reclaimed, but only if a successful claim is made.

“In the current climate owners of commercial property need to save every penny that they can and, at the moment, most are unaware that such valuable capital allowances are waiting to be claimed” says Shaun Murphy, CEO, Portal Tax Claims:

“Literally billions of pounds are due to owners, but most lack the necessary expertise to make the claim which can be a complicated process. As we only make a charge if successful, we would urge any commercial property owner to give us a call as they have nothing to lose and have potentially tens of thousands of pounds to gain.”

So how can such a vast pool of money be so easily overlooked by thousands of accountants? There are a number of possible reasons for this: including the complexity of the area, the fact that some accountants will shy from making claims as they are 100 percent liable in case of erroneous claims; and the fact that the majority of claimable additions will have been completed before the accountant began working at the property. But with millions of commercially registered properties across the country each with an average of over £100,000, the £5 billion figure is, if anything, a conservative estimate of what UK SMEs are owed.

If you own a commercial property of least £200,000 value that is not held in a pension scheme and are a UK tax payer; Portal Tax Claims can reclaim for you an average of £105,000 in 96% of cases: welcome news for cash strapped SMEs, and for the UK economy in general.

If you would like to find out more please call 0845 000 0450 or visit www.portaltaxclaims.com.