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When is a building not a building?

There has long been an element of debate as to the eligibility of grain stores for Capital Allowances. Whilst “buildings” generally will not be eligible, there is a specific exception for silos used for temporary storage and of course also an exception where a structure performs the function of plant.

In the case of May-v-HMRC in November 2018, the First Tier Tribunal looked at all of these points. Mr May erected a purpose built grain store to deal with the produce from his 700 arable acres.

HMRC argued that the building was not a silo, since it was not a “pit “ or a “tower”. It was not for temporary storage, since grain could be held for up to ten months and it did not have the function of plant.