THOUSANDS of North-East firms could be in line for a tax break windfall worth £248m, according to new figures.
Up to 6,884 companies in the region are still eligible for the tax rebate under Government rules for businesses owning commercial property, research by Portal Tax Claims, a financial services group which specialises in capital allowances, has found.
While the majority of large corporations have taken full advantage of the capital allowances system, bosses at the financial services company believe many small and medium-sized enterprises are failing to lodge a claim, often missing that they fail to take their business premises – and therefore thousands of claimable items – into account.
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The firm has calculated that the total value of the tax relief through these unclaimed allowances has now reached £8.8bn nationally, and have urged firms to submit claims for tax rebates..
Shaun Murphy, managing director of the financial services firm, said: “Businesses in the North East are missing a trick as far as capital allowances are concerned, often assuming that their accountant has the matter in hand.
“A second common misconception is that capital allowances only apply to items such as computers and vehicles.
“Our research shows that many firms are failing to take their business premises into account and that each property potentially contains thousands of claimable items.
“Submitting a rebate can be daunting for the uninitiated but the financial rewards can be significant.”
The research suggests that around 2,000 businesses who submitted this type of capital allowances claim to HMRC in 2012 would have received an average tax relief pay-out of more than £36,000.
Allowances can often be found up to a value of 40 per cent of a property’s purchase price and it is thought that about 90 per cent of commercial buildings in the North-East are eligible for a rebate.
Mr Murphy said: “Our research highlights how businesses in the North-East are missing out on millions in unclaimed tax breaks.
“At a time of economic hardship, a tax-payout on this scale would make a major difference – fuelling expansion programmes, driving economic growth and ultimately helping Britain get back on its feet.
“Portal Tax Claims urges the North East business community to act now or risk missing out.”