A wide variety of grants or subsidies are available to businesses and can be received in addition to the ordinary business income. It is important to identify these and to establish whether they are capital or revenue in nature so that they are dealt with correctly for tax purposes.
Amounts received towards revenue expenditure, such as staff costs, are normally trading receipts and should be included as income or netted off against the relevant expense. Funding which meets capital expenditure is normally treated as a capital receipt. Grants that may be capital in nature include those paid to acquire capital assets, machinery or to facilitate the cessation of a trade or part of a trade.
Some grants may not be for a specific purpose. These are termed undifferentiated receipts. An undifferentiated receipt should be regarded as revenue; however, there is an exception for specific grants paid by Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Grants are generally taxable income, the same as any other income arising in your trade. If the grant is for expenditure that appears in your profit and loss account and you can defer the grant income (as above) then you may not have a tax liability on the income as it will be matched with its intended expenditure.