60 Seconds with… David Shortt, principal, Oliver Rae


Your new company Oliver Rae is aimed at helping businesses and buy-to-let landlords get tax relief on property purchases – how does it work?

Capital allowances are an integral part of tax law. They allow businesses to get tax relief on large purchases in recognition for the fact that assets appreciate in value.

Most companies claim capital allowances on purchases on things like IT equipment, furniture and special tools for their trade.

Smaller businesses and individuals typically miss out on the most valuable allowances of all – on the property they buy.

The right to claim property tax allowances is statutory  – it’s in accordance with the Capital Allowances Act 2001. But the claiming process is complex – a successful claim is dependent on considerable accountancy skills, the legal entitlement to claim and specialist plant and machinary valuation skills. Therefore you can see the skills that are required over diverse professions to realise the benefit that clients are entitled to.


What sort of clients should intermediaries be considering for this type of capital allowance?

The range is diverse – it enables introducers to help their small business clients as well as clients who qualify on buy-to-let residential properties get all the property capital allowances they are entitled to. This can represent a benefit to the client of as much as 10 per cent of the property purchase price and that is often a five or six figure sum. This is often a real aid to introducers once they realise that most commercial property qualifies. Clients that have bought buy-to-let residential property which has been rented to two or more unrelated persons also qualify.


Are brokers more open to finding out about this type of thing?

Brokers are hugely open to this type of opportunity. For anyone interested in finding out more about it we are holding our first seminar on it in London on 12 September.


What’s the best advice that you have ever received?

Always keep an open mind, listen to what people are saying to you, because therein lies opportunity.


As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?

I wanted to be a vet up until I realised just how mucky that occupation could be. What you have to do with your arm and a cow’s posterior doesn’t bear thinking about.


What’s your favourite item of clothing?

Anything that can be suitably worn on a golf course is an absolutely perfect item of clothing.


What’s your favourite restaurant and why?

Langans Brasserie in Green Park. It is a fantastic venue for business networking, it is a lovely environment and as long as you keep spending money the last thing in the world they would do is throw you out.