Capital Allowances Case Summary: Rogate Services Limited v HMRC 
Release Date: 25 March 2014
Whether expenditure on constructing a Car Valeting Bay is plant.
It was held by the First-Tier Tax Tribunal that the valeting bay was not plant. The building does not perform a function, it was a place of work which does not amount to plant.
Rogate Services Limited (the taxpayer) operates a garage as a Renault franchise. Services offered include the application of glasscoat finishes and other activities to meet the standards of Renault. They incurred expenditure on constructing a valeting bay used solely for the application of glasscoat finishes. They claimed capital allowances on this expenditure.
HMRC disallowed the plant and machinery allowances claimed on the basis the bay was not plant. Rogate appealed this decision.
The taxpayer argued that the valeting bay was plant as it was a tool of the trade.
The First Tier Tribunal (FTT) found the valeting bay was not a tool of the trade and was “a place of work which does not amount to plant”.
The FTT also considered whether the valeting bay would be excluded from being plant as it was either a building or structure for the purposes of s21/s22 CAA2001 and not within any of the exceptions. They found it was “excluded from being plant by the statutory provisions”.
What this means
This seems a surprising case that the tax payer considered there was a worthwhile basis. In 1997 Anduff Carwash Ltd v Attwood established that a car wash structure is premises and not plant. See also London Electricity plc.
There is still an opportunity for the taxpayer in the above case to claim capital allowances by segregating the expenditure on the valeting bay into eligible and ineligible capital allowances categories.