Post-Cessation Expenses: Navigating the Aftermath of Business Closure

When a business ceases operations, it marks the end of one chapter and the beginning of another. But what happens when income trickles in or expenses arise after closure? Understanding post-cessation expenses is vital to ensure compliance and maximise relief.

When Does a Business End?

HMRC defines the end of a business as when it “permanently ceases to carry on a trade.” For unincorporated businesses, cessation occurs when accounts are prepared up to the date of closure. Limited companies have their own cessation processes, such as becoming dormant or undergoing liquidation.

Navigating Post-Cessation Expenses

Even after closure, businesses may encounter income or expenses not accounted for in final accounts. Post-cessation expenses, like insurance payments or sudden debt repayments, can arise. For businesses using the cash basis, these expenses are treated as though the business continues, deducting them from any post-cessation income.

Qualifying for Relief

Post-cessation relief is available if a taxpayer ceases business and makes qualifying payments or experiences qualifying events related to business debts within seven years. These payments may include remedying defective work, insuring against liabilities, or collecting debts from before cessation.

Understanding Relief Limits

Legislation dictates the order in which post-cessation expenses are relieved. Initially deducted from post-cessation receipts, any excess may be offset against other income or capital gains, subject to a £50,000 cap or 25% of adjusted total income. Relief is also influenced by outstanding debts at cessation.

Planning for the Future

Unclaimed expenses can be carried forward to offset against future post-cessation receipts. However, if unclaimed expenses remain after six years, they may be lost. Careful planning and expert guidance can help businesses navigate the complexities of post-cessation expenses effectively.

Contact Us for Expert Advice

At Jon Davies Accountants, we’re here to provide expert guidance on navigating post-cessation expenses and ensuring compliance with HMRC regulations. Contact our team today for tailored advice and support tailored to your business needs.


If you found this useful, please share it using the icons at the side of the page, or leave a comment below.

Any questions?

If you’d like a meeting or a video call to discuss this, please get in touch with your favourite Liverpool accountant