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Are photographer's props plant for cap allowances?

How should I allow photographer's expenditure on long-lasting props?

Fairly new client is a food photographer/dietician specialist operating from her kitchen. She spends considerable amounts of cash buying props to photograph with the food she cooks to photograph, like pottery, cutlery, vintage cooking implements etc. Individually these items are low cost, ranging from £2 to £21 each, but collectively they add up to a tidy sum each year. I had assumed that after the first year she would have had bought enough props to last some years but she keeps on buying and buying more props each year. Goodness knows where she will store them in her house.

These props are very likely to last for years if not decades. Without much consideration, in the first year I dealt with I claimed capital allowances on these expenses because they are enduring assets. Having reflected on the matter I would like confirmation that this expenditure is plant for the purpose of capital allowances. It is certainly not machinery, unlike her camera equiment, nor is it stock-in-trade.

So I guess it must be plant under the old Wimpey International Ltd 1988 case and therefore qualifying for the AIA. Is this correct.

Helpful comments would be appreciated.

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By 356B
18th Oct 2017 10:34

If she keeps buying them, because they have to be updated, they're consumables, so charge them to R&R.

Thanks (1)
to 356B
18th Oct 2017 15:08

That's one way I have looked at it. A bit like paying for camera film, the only difference is that most of the props in theory will last for decades. By the way, this photographer doesn't buy film, but she feels she needs fresh props for her ongoing photoshoots.

Thanks (0)
18th Oct 2017 10:47

It's plant; aka the implements, tools, or utensils of the trade. You can either claim capital allowances or replacement expenditure under s 68.

Thanks (2)
to Portia Nina Levin
18th Oct 2017 15:03

Thanks, these are two alternatives which have crossed my mind, although to date I have utilised the capital allowances method.

Thanks (0)
to Portia Nina Levin
18th Oct 2017 17:43

Portia Nina Levin wrote:

It's plant; aka the implements, tools, or utensils of the trade. You can either claim capital allowances or replacement expenditure under s 68.

I agree. It may be cheap plant, costing a few quid a time - and, to that extent, unusual - but it's undoubtedly plant. The only caveat I'd add is - will she keep using them for decades or do they leave the business in some way ? Sale, transfer to personal assets, whatever ....

Thanks (1)
to lionofludesch
18th Oct 2017 18:20

I guess she will keep the props indefinitely. There was some mention of selling on Ebay but what a faff with all the trouble with complaints and returning goods etc. But she did mention latterly that there is some type of prop loan service where for a very small fee kitchenware can be hired and returned.
My next question to her will be where does she store the props. She has a large Victorian terrace house which helps.

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18th Oct 2017 11:44

Slightly OT but I had a client who also bought props for photo shoots. She would buy them, use them for the shoot and then return them for a full refund. It may be that that explains the continuing purchase of these items.

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By tom123
to Red Leader
18th Oct 2017 12:22

cheeky, but also a bit cunning!

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to Red Leader
18th Oct 2017 15:07

Reminds me of a colleague who used to work with me at HMRC. She was a real glamour-puss who prided herself in buying dresses from M&S, tucking the labels inside the garment and wearing them over the weekend then returning them early next week for a refund.
Morally repugnant but there you go!

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to Red Leader
18th Oct 2017 21:41

Literally need to get a first year to audit the plants to check!

That always used to be a joke - now someone might actually be asked to do it.

Sounds like a pain though and it's late = immaterial.

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