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Lift refurb capital or revenue


I'm doing some year end accounts for a charity. During the year the charity has brought back to life a lift in their building. It has cost £23k for the works. Many years ago the lift worked (nearly 20 years ago) and has been left to rot since then. The only things to remain are the lift doors (but not the mechanism to open them) and the cabin skeleton (which has been taken apart and rebuilt/repaired as necessary). Repairs have amounted to :

new electrical system and mechanisms
new cable to hold the cabin
new motors that actualy do the lifting of the cabin
major strengthening to the cabin (although the capacity remains the same, current H&S laws required it to be much stronger)
replacement of lift shaft girders.

so basically it's a new lift with a vague identity to the old one.

Is this really just a replacement of an asset - therefore capital - or would it be justified as repairs given it has not improved the original use/lifting capacity and has just brought back into use what was already there.

Given it's a charity this is not an issue for tax just simply one of correct accounting.



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30th Jun 2011 15:11

A shame

I would love to wheel out all my arguments for tax purposes as to why it's an allowable repair cost.  So it's a real shame for me that it's a charity!

As far as the accounts are concerned, it sounds like it's probably quite a significant cost, the benefit of which will probably extend over the life of the refurbished lift.  So on balance I think i would prefer a capital treatment to better match the economic life of the expenditure.  However, it seems like you could argue it both ways.

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