Gwent Landlord Forum – 29 March 2017

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After our first very successful event of the year held in January, we are now well into 2017 and preparing to welcome our Landlords to our next FREE forum on Wednesday 29th March between 6pm and 8pm at The Parkway Hotel and Spa.

We are continuing to provide a broad range of speakers who can shed a light on important matters which might help you make up your minds as to your future as a property investor. As always, our invitation goes out to all who may be interested so if you know someone who is a landlord or thinking about becoming a landlord, please do pass this invitation on to them – we are always happy to welcome new guests.

Speakers:

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Leanne Flanagan, Tax Senior with Green & Co Accountants will be talking about:

  • The final March Budget taking place on 8 March and how the changes announced will affect you as landlords.

Damian Lines, Head of Wills, Trusts and Probate with Rubin Lewis O’Brien Solicitors will be speaking about:

  • All aspects of Estate Planning as part of the important area of Preparing for the Future.

Stephanie Taylor of HMO Heaven will be covering:

  • Her insider secrets on HMOs. Is now the right time to invest?
  • The 5 easy steps to massively increase the rental income on your buy-to-let properties.
  • Real life case studies demonstrating how you can double your rental income.
  • How to enjoy fantastic property cashflow in Newport without any hassle.

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For any enquiries about this event, please contact Katie Williams at Green & Co on 01633 871122, Email: katie@greenandco.com.

Are You Prepared For The New Pound Coin?

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As first announced in 2014, the new 12-sided £1 coin will be finally be here on the 28th of March.

For the first time in over 30 years, the pound coin will be changed after fears the existing coin was easily illegally copied, meaning a lot of worthless coins have been in circulation. The Royal Mint have declared the new coin the most secure in the world.

You will still be able to use the round £1 coin until 15th October, after that date they will become worthless.

As a result, prior to 28th March, you will need to upgrade your coin handling equipment, such as vending machines, supermarket trolleys, car park ticket machines and any other machine that accepts £1 coins. The Royal Mint has been working proactively with coin handling equipment manufacturers to ensure that upgrades and replacements are available. You will also need to train any staff on the new features of the coin.

To find out more information, please view the Royal Mint leaflet or visit www.thenewpoundcoin.com.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

HMRC Update On Making Tax Digital

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Following a consultation period, HM Revenue and Customs have now released more information regarding the changes to self assessment under their new “Making Tax Digital” project.

Some of the more significant details are:

  1. Receipts and expenditure recorded on spreadsheets can be linked to HMRC software.
  2. Free software will be available to smaller businesses.
  3. The cash accounting system of reporting will be extended.
  4. Charities will not be obliged to take part in quarterly reporting.
  5. In the first year, a 12 month period of grace will be allowed before late submission penalties are applied.

Businesses and buy-to-let landlords with a turnover of more than £10,000 pa will be expected to submit their financial information quarterly, the new regime to be rolled in from April 2018. A spokesperson for the Revenue optimistically suggests this will help businesses avoid errors on returns and cut down the need for compliance investigations.

For many small businesses, however, the prospect of transmitting their financial information on-line every 3 months is not one they welcome. Recent research carried out by HMRC themselves showed that over 40,000 businesses had concerns about having to comply with quarterly reporting.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) also warns that more vulnerable taxpayers will incur additional costs in software and/or increased accountancy fees and that HMRC’s plans to implement the system in 2018 is total “fantasy”. A survey undertaken by 1-Tap Receipts has even shown that a staggering 97% of self-employed taxpayers who took part were unaware of the proposed changes to the tax system.

With these factors in mind, the FSB is supporting a recommendation by the Treasury Committee for quarterly reporting to apply only to businesses with a turnover in excess of £83,000 (in line with the VAT registration threshold) and to be phased in gradually from 2020. This would give the Government a chance to re-think their proposals and tax-payers time to consider their options going forward.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

Gwent forum quenches landlord’s thirst for information

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This weeks edition of the South Wales Argus features an article on our Gwent Landlord Forum.

Landlords from across South Wales received advice and support as part of the bi-monthly Gwent Landlord Forum.

The event, held by Cwmbran-based Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors and Lettings agency Serenliving, took place at the Parkway Hotel on Wednesday 25th January.

Three guest speakers gave informative presentations to a packed out room, where landlords and potential landlords were informed of the ins and outs of managing a tenant’s water and the importance of protecting tenant deposits.

Samantha Strong of Rubin Lewis O’Brien, welcomed guests and announced the firm’s agreement to exit from the Quality Solicitors network, reaffirming its complete independence.

Gareth Williams of Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water, discussed the water regulations and how they affect landlords, the affordability schemes and tariffs available to their tenants and the important points of contact available to landlords.

Christopher Leonard from The Deposit Protection Service, spoke about the legal requirements of protecting a deposit as well as the process of disputes.

Ed Gooderham, Director of Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors said: “It’s great to see the forum grow from strength to strength. Our main aim is to provide local landlords with as much information and support as possible, and we really feel that attendees benefit from the events.”

The next Gwent Landlord Forum will take place at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran on Wednesday 29th March.

For more information, contact Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Green & Co or Serenliving. Alternatively, landlords and those with an interest in the buy-to-let market can follow @GwentLandlord on Twitter.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

New Land Transaction Tax for Wales

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The Welsh Assembly has now approved Stage One of the legislative process for the proposed new Land Transaction Tax (LTT), due to take effect from 6th April 2018.

The tax will replace the Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) in Wales, and is expected to receive Royal Assent in Spring of this year.  LTT will operate in a similar way to SDLT, applying  higher rates where the purchase of  second homes and buy-to-let properties are involved.  Actual rates have yet to be agreed and are not expected to be announced until next year.

One area of concern relates to those properties which span the Welsh Borders, having some land in Wales and some in England.  It would seem that both LTT and SDLT will apply in these cases, with taxpayers having to make two separate tax payments.  Calls are being made for greater clarity as to how this will be implemented and how the land will be valued, particularly as Land Registry maps do not currently show where Borders are located.

There are thought to be over 1,000 properties which straddle the Border.  A spokesperson for Land Registry has confirmed that they are working with both the Welsh Government and HMRC to help tax-payers in identifying where the Border lies in relation to the property titles and what their responsibilities would be in relation to the two taxes.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

Development Bank of Wales to get its Skates on

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According to Economy Secretary Ken Skates, the Development Bank of Wales is on course to open in the first half of this New Year.

The aim of the new bank is to provide more than £1 billion of investment support to Welsh businesses across the next five years, and to help micro and medium businesses gain access to finance, support and management advice.

By 2022, the Development Bank will create over 5,500 jobs and will be tasked with increasing annual direct investment by £80m.

A detailed business plan has been drafted and the Welsh Government are currently working with their partners to ensure they fully meet the needs of businesses across the country.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.

 

The Big Question: How do you motivate your staff to keep fit?

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Green & Co’s Barrie Kenyon answers the South Wales Argus Big Question this week.

As the end of January approaches, many resolutions have already fallen wayside.

People start the year with great intentions promising to get fit and do more exercise but after a few weeks, they abandon their plans.

Business Argus has been asking the local business community how they help motivate and encourage their staff to be fitter and healthier?

Relief for Rental Property Repairs

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So, you’ve bought a rental property and once extensive repairs have been carried out to bring the property to a habitable state, you assume that you can offset said expenditure against your rents, thus receiving income tax relief? You may be shocked to learn that this tax treatment could in fact be wrong!

If a property is purchased in a dilapidated condition and you have paid less than the market value as a result, then works involved in bringing it up to standard could be capital expenditure and should therefore be relieved when you dispose of the property.

Even after acquisition, works that significantly alter or enhance the asset are likely to be capital expenditure and you must check with your tax advisor before claiming them as a rental expense on your tax return. An extension, for example, is likely to be a capital enhancement.

On the contrary however, if repairs carried out simply to reinstate the asset to its original condition,  then it is probable that you can offset the expense against rents received in the year in which it is incurred.

For more information please contact Green & Co Accountants and Tax Advisors on 01633 871122.

Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.