Value Added Tax

Capital goods scheme (CGS) ― overview

Produced by Tolley
  • 19 Jan 2022 07:03

The following Value Added Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Capital goods scheme (CGS) ― overview
  • What is the capital goods scheme?
  • Key issues
  • Related reading

Capital goods scheme (CGS) ― overview

This guidance note provides an overview of the capital goods scheme (often referred to as the CGS) along with links to further practical guidance on the subject.

In-depth commentary on the legislation and case law associated with the CGS is covered in De Voil Indirect Tax Service V3.470.

Video overviews of the CGS can be found below:

  1. Capital goods scheme (Part A)

  2. Capital goods scheme (Part B)

What is the capital goods scheme?

The CGS is a method of adjusting the amount of input VAT recovered on certain kinds of assets which are used over a relatively long period of time. Adjustments under the CGS reflect changes in how the assets are ‘used’ over time.

The assets covered by the scheme are often referred to as ‘capital items’. Not all capital expenditure gives rise to capital items. In fact, the CGS covers a relatively limited range of assets which exceed certain value thresholds. In broad terms, the kinds of assets covered are:

  1. land and buildings costing £250,000 or more (excluding VAT)

  2. computers costing £50,000 or more (excluding VAT)

  3. aircraft, ships, and other vessels costing £50,000 or more (excluding VAT)

SI 1995/2518, reg 113

The period of time over which the ‘use’ of capital items is monitored is, in the vast majority of cases, either five or 10 years (or ‘intervals’). The length of the adjustment period depends on the class of asset concerned; land and buildings are generally subject to a 10-year monitoring period whilst other kinds of capital item

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