B3.343 Plant and machinery allowances—short-life assets
A person can make an election1 for expenditure on an item of plant or machinery not to be included in the main pool. Instead, the expenditure is allocated to a single asset pool (a 'short-life asset pool') of its own2. The result is that a balancing allowance can arise when the asset is disposed of, whereas one could not normally arise if the item were included in the main pool unless the qualifying activity were to cease simultaneously. See also CA23610–23660.
A short-life asset election must be made by notice given to an HMRC officer, and must specify the plant or machinery concerned, the qualifying expenditure incurred in respect of it and the date on which it was incurred3.
A single election may cover more than one asset. It may be made in respect of some or all of the assets acquired in the chargeable period to which the election relates. Separate records would normally be required for each asset covered by an election. In practice, however, it is recognised that the maintenance of individual records for each asset is not always practicable, especially where the assets are held in very large numbers. Consequently, HMRC is prepared to allow the expenditure in a given chargeable period on a whole class of assets to be taken together in computing the allowances outside the main pool. In such cases, the election must give enough information to be clear what is and what is not included and that the