As of 6 April 2017 the tax relief landlords receive for mortgage interest and other finance costs is restricted. The restriction is being introduced gradually so that by 2020/21 landlords will receive tax relief for finance costs at basic rate (currently 20%) instead of at the rate at which they pay tax.
This change does not just affect higher rate taxpayers. Some people may find that, even though they are currently a basic rate taxpayer, as finance costs are no longer deducted in calculating their net rents, their income can be pushed into the higher rate bracket.
For spouses and civil partners who jointly own rental property, in the absence of an agreement to the contrary, the profits will typically be split 50/50. This can however be inefficient for tax purposes if one spouse is a basic rate taxpayer and the other is taxed at higher rate.
In such circumstances, they can register a beneficial ownership on the asset which stipulates a different ownership split, for example 80/20 and submit Form 17 to HMRC in order to tax the profits as such. This should of course be discussed with the experts in application to your personal circumstances before implementing.
If you’d like any further information please contact Green & Co.
Please note: This article is a commentary on general principles and should not be interpreted as advice for your specific situation.