I have been trading as a sole trader, and have just set up a limited company. I wish to transfer the equipment from the sole trade to the limited company. I purchased a new van during 2016, so this has not yet had any capital allowances, and I'd like to transfer the van into the limited company. Do I need to re-register the van at DVLA in the company name, or is it okay just to issue an invoice? I would like the capital allowances for the van to be set against the sole trade, but as I cannot claim the full annual investment allowance in the final year is it okay to sell the van at a nominal value and claim a large balancing allowance (instead of transferring at tax written-down value)?
Arthur Weller replies:
It is possible to do as you have written, crystallising a large balancing allowance, but this treatment would not apply to non-pooled assets, such as expensive cars and short life assets. However, you must appreciate that the company will receive the van at a low value, and will not be able to claim much in the way of capital allowances. An alternative approach is to draw up accounts to an earlier date prior to cessation, so that the capital expenditure does not occur in the final period.