March 1 2004. Increases in the thresholds for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) which came into force on January 30th 2004 double the amount of investment eligible for 40% first-year capital allowances.

Businesses falling under the revised small business threshold will also be eligible for the 100% first-year capital allowance for spending on information and communication technology up until March 31st 2004. This date may possibly be extended in the Budget.

SMEs can claim 40% allowances on their spending on plant and machinery. Small businesses can claim 100% FYAs on their spending on information and technology equipment between April 1st 2000 and March 31st 2004.

The new thresholds take effect in relation to financial years ending on or after January 30th 2004, except where the financial year only ends on or after that date because of an exercise of the power to alter the accounting reference date, by the giving of a notice to the registrar, on or after the date on which the relevant Regulations were made.