25 Mar 2018

Commercial property standard enquiries

07 February 2018

More than meets the eye


  • Commercial property standard enquiries cover various aspects of a property transaction.
  • Replies to CPSE capital allowances are an important starting point when advising the buyer.
  • However, the replies rarely provide enough information to determine the buyer’s capital allowances claim.
  • Responses must be reviewed critically to protect the buyer’s valuable capital allowances.

Commercial property standard enquiries (CPSEs) are typically raised by the lawyers acting for the buyer of a commercial property. They contain many detailed sections, the last of which (section 32) is concerned with capital allowances.

The accountants acting for the vendor will generally be asked to complete section 32, giving details of the property’s capital allowances history. Somebody acting for the buyer will then need to appraise the replies and, unless (exceptionally) the buyer’s solicitors wish to take responsibility, that task will often be passed to the buyer’s accountants.

Since capital allowances are right at the end of the CPSEs form, and because inevitably there are commercial pressures to complete the deal, accountants may feel they have too little time to deal with the issue, even though large amounts of tax at stake. Further, capital allowances for property fixtures are a specialist area, so there may be the added factor that the technicalities are poorly understood.


What are CPSEs?

The purpose ...

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