To Have, Hold & Share Rental Income Tax Efficiently

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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.

Landlords Kept in the Know as Renting Homes Act Moves Forward

Neil Soundy and Daniel Bellis

The South Wales Argus highlight another successful Gwent Landlord Forum.

Landlords from across south east Wales have again received expert advice, support and insight into the ever-changing rental landscape 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.

Two guest speakers gave informative presentations to a packed room, where landlords were informed of the ins-and-outs of operating as a limited company, AIRBNB and the Renting Homes Wales Act.

Opening the evening was mortgage advisor Neil Soundy, who spoke about the benefits of buying property as a limited or trading company, the basic taxation on limited companies and buy to lets, lower rental coverage requirements and AIRBNB for landlords.

The second speaker was Daniel Bellis, a policy officer for the Residential Landlords Association. Daniel discussed the growing concerns of landlords as the Renting Homes Wales Act has come into effect, including the creation of standardised contracts across the rental sector, fit for human habitation regulations, changes in abandonment procedure and changes to joint contracts.

Ed Gooderham, director of Green & Co Accountants, said: “It’s great to see the forum grow with more and more people attending every session. Both speakers were of great quality, providing our landlords with an informative insight into complex topics. Our continued aim is to provide local landlords with as much information and support as possible, and attendees regularly feedback to us how much they enjoy these events.”

The next Gwent Landlord Forum will take place at the Parkway Hotel in Cwmbran on Wednesday July 12. For more information, please contact Rubin Lewis O’Brien, Green & Co or SerenLiving.

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

South Wales Argus Features Another Highly Successful Landlord Forum

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The South Wales Argus highlight another highly successful Landlord Forum, held at the end of March. Green & Co’s own Leanne Flanagan opened the evening in front of another large crowd.

Property landlords from across South Wales received advice and support in light of the recent budget 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.

You can read the whole article here.

If you are interested in attending our next Landlord Forum, due to be held on May 31st, please get in touch now to register your interest.

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

Landlords: Is your Tax on the Up from April 2017?

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From 6 April 2017 the relief that Landlords receive for mortgage and loan interest on residential lettings will be restricted. It marks a big change for Landlords as it is estimated that one in five will be affected by the policy.

Under the new rules, by 2020/21, finance costs will no longer be deducted from the rental income received (thus giving relief at whatever rate of tax you pay); instead they will be subject to basic rate relief, currently 20%.

The changes will be brought in gradually so that the following proportion of interest costs will be relieved in the normal way in the respective tax years.

2017/2018                           75%

2018/2019                           50%

2019/2020                           25%

2020/2021                           Nil

The balance of costs for each year will be relieved at basic rate.

This change does not just affect higher rate taxpayers.  Some people may find that, even though they are currently a basic rate taxpayer, when the finance costs are no longer being deducted in calculating their net rent, they may be pushed into higher rate tax.  And relief is only available at basic rate.

HMRC announced this change in 2015 in order to give Landlords time to prepare for the impact. If you haven’t done this already then there’s no time like the present (meaning… act NOW!).

Contact us if you would like to discuss your situation with one of the Green & Co team.

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

2017 Budget Review

Following on from the Chancellor’s first and last Spring Budget, we are pleased to provide you with our summary of the key announcements, along with our tax tables for the 2017/18 tax year:

Budget Summary

Tax Data
The main changes include:

  • The tax-free dividend allowance will be reduced from £5,000 to £2,000 from April 2018.
  • Class 4 national insurance contributions for self-employed workers will increase to 10% in April 2018 and rise again, to 11%, from April 2019.
  • Unincorporated businesses and landlords with a turnover below the VAT threshold will have until April 2019 before they are required to implement ‘Making Tax Digital’.

Among the key changes to note for this year are:

  • The Chancellor confirmed that corporation tax will be cut to a rate of 19% from April 2017 and it will be further reduced to 17% in 2020.
  • The personal allowance will rise to £11,500 in April 2017 and to £12,500 by 2020 and the higher rate income threshold will rise to £45,000, although special rules will apply in Scotland.
  • Individual landlords’ tax relief for finance costs will be restricted to basic rate tax – to be phased in over four years from April 2017.

More information on the Budget is available on our website or if you would like to speak to one of our team please contact us.

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.

 

Tax Return Deadline is Approaching

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It comes around almost as fast as Christmas, and here we are again. The 31 January 2017 marks the deadline for filing of the 2015/16 Self-Assessment Tax Return (SATR).

Individuals who are required to submit a SATR include, the self-employed and some landlords, investors, company directors, high earners and people who have worked overseas.

Those taxpayers who fail to file their Return online by midnight on Tuesday 31 January will be subject to an automatic penalty of £100. This applies even if there is no tax to pay, or the tax is paid on time.

Tax Returns which are not filed after a further three months will be subject to daily penalties, and additional penalties will apply to Returns which remain unfiled after six and 12 months, adding up to a potential penalty of £1,600 or more.

Penalties and interest charges also apply for the late payment of tax, and these will continue to be applied until HM Revenue & Customs receives payment.

Green & Co can help with all your tax planning needs, including filing your Tax Return – please contact us for further assistance.

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

Landlords:  Have You Claimed Your Pre-letting Expenditure?

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If you’ve incurred qualifying expenditure at some time prior the letting of your rental property, you can still offset this expenditure against rental income (once it’s received) as long as it meets certain criteria.

You cannot claim for expenses, such as repairs or council tax bills, which you paid while the property was your private residence, as this expenditure is not for the purpose of the rental business. There are also restrictions on expenditure incurred when a full market value rent is not charged.

In order to qualify, pre-letting expenditure must meet the following:

  • It must be incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the rental business
  • It has to have been incurred no more than seven years prior to the commencement of the rental business
  • It cannot otherwise be allowable as a deduction for tax purposes
  • If incurred after the rental income commenced, the expense would have been allowable, and
  • It cannot be capital expenditure.

The expenditure, if allowable, will be treated as incurred on the day in which the rental business commenced.

For queries relating to this or any other Landlord tax matters, 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.

 

 

Welsh Landlords – Are You Registered Yet?

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Landlords of properties in Wales are being reminded that the deadline for registration with the Rent Smart scheme is fast approaching.

According to the administrators, Cardiff City Council, around 75% of landlords have so far failed to register.  Out of an estimated 100,000, only just over 25,000 applications have been received and any landlord not having done so by 23 November 2016 will be breaking the law.

The scheme aims to improve the quality of rental accommodation in the Principality, with registered landlords undergoing compulsory training in order to be licenced to let property. Failure to honour the regulations could result in fixed penalty fines, or even a criminal record.

Registration costs just £33.50 for on-line applications, irrespective of the number of properties being let, and the licence itself is valid for 5 years.  Although the application only takes a few minutes, it can take up to 8 weeks to process. Of those who have already completed the training, 96% say it was worthwhile and will make them a better landlord.

Those landlords using a letting agent need not register, provided the agency itself has done so.

Green & Co run a bi-monthly landlord forum to keep landlords up to date with changes like the Rent Smart Scheme. Our next forum is being held on 30 November and will cover the announcements made by Philip Hammond in the Autumn Statement. To register your interest, please email katie@greenandco.com.

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