Landlords & Property Investors Take Note: New Capital Gains Tax Rules for 2020

The new capital gains tax (CGT) rules will come into effect on April 2020, which will more than likely impact the sales of most additional properties in the UK.

CGT is paid on profits from the sale of investment properties that are not the sellers main place of residence. The amount of CGT paid is dependent on the annual income of the individual.  Current capital gains tax rates on property for 2019-2020 are 18% for basic rate taxpayers (£12,001-£50,000) and 28% for higher rate taxpayers (£50,001+).

The changes coming into effect in 04/2020 are threefold:

1. The timing of when you pay the CGT to HMRC
2. The amount of tax relief you can claim if you previously lived in the property
3. How the letting relief will work

Timing:
Previously a UK resident CGT has been calculated & submitted alongside their self assessment income tax irrespective of the completion date for the sale of the investment property. From April 2020, sellers will need to pay the full amount owed within 30-days of the completion of the sale and failure to pay within the 30-day limit will result in penalties.

Tax Relief:
The private residence relief (PRR) applies to landlords selling a property where in the past they have used that property as their main place of residence.

Currently, you are exempt from paying tax on the final 18-months that you owned the property, regardless of whether it was being rented. From April 2020 it is expected to be halved to 9-months.  So once you have not lived in a property that was once your main place of residence for longer than 9-months, you will probably be required to pay some CGT on the profits when it is sold.

Lettings Relief:
As a landlord, if you have qualified for PRR, then it may also be possible to claim lettings relief.

Letting relief can currently be claimed if you used to live in the property being sold, and have also let out part or all of it for residential accommodation.

You can claim the lowest of the following:
the same as the amount of PRR you will receive
£40,000
the chargeable gain you make from the period you let out the property

When the new rules come in from April 2020, you will only be able to claim this relief if you live there when it is being sold  (i.e if you share occupancy with your tenant).

Under current rules there are certain costs that can be deducted from your CGT:

  • Stamp duty paid on the purchase of the property
  • Estate agent fees
  • Solicitor fees
  • Improvement costs that added value to the property (such as extensions)
  • Qualifying buying and selling costs (such as surveyor fees)

Aside from this, capital gains tax is only payable on property that is owned by individuals. If the property is owned by a limited company, corporation tax is applied instead of CGT.

Corporation tax is currently 19%, but the current government hinted at a reduction to 17% for 20/21 but we await the confirmation from the Chancellor budget due in the Spring of 2020.

If you have any queries around CGT or need an accountant to calculate & submit your CGT, please don’t hesitate to contact us.  We offer a free 20-minute consultation.

Over 400 tax returns submitted

We Submitted Over 400 Tax Returns in January!

Over 400 tax returns submitted

Taxfile prepared and submitted more than 400 Self-Assessment tax returns for clients during January. That’s about a hundred a week and goes to show just how busy it gets for us during January, the busiest month in our accounting calendar.

Did you submit your tax return on time?

The deadline for submission of your tax return (and payment of any tax due) was 31st January at midnight. Did you manage to submit yours in time? If not, you’re already into the ‘penalty’ period where HMRC basically fine you for being late. The penalty comes in the form of an initial £100 fine but that increases, potentially very significantly, as you get later and later with your tax return submission. If you look at the table below, it’s safe to say that you can end up owing a thousand pounds or more if you bury your head in the sand and are 3 months late, or more.  If you continue to leave your tax payment and tax return submission outstanding for six months or more, the penalty is £1300 as a minimum – perhaps more (it depends upon how much tax you owe).

Late return penalties by HMRC

Is your tax return & tax payment late? Taxfile can help!

If you are late submitting your tax return or paying tax and don’t know how to straighten things out, don’t Read more

Late with your tax return and tax payment?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?

Missed the tax return deadline? What now?

[Updated February 2020] If you missed the deadline to submit your self-assessment tax return, the first thing to know is that you are now into the penalty stage. HMRC applies an automatic £100 penalty to those who are even 1 day late (the deadline was 11.59pm on 31st January) and further penalties are added if you take even longer to comply. It’s worse, of course, if you also haven’t paid any tax owed as you’ll then owe interest too, so our advice is to pay as much as you can before 29th February, so you’ll reduce any element of interest. However, if there is a genuine reason why you were late with your return, and it fits certain criteria, you have the option to appeal …

Circumstances that are taken into account by HMRC when considering appeals include:

  • if a close relative or partner died shortly before the tax return or payment deadline;
  • if you had to stay in hospital unexpectedly;
  • if you had a life-threatening or serious illness;
  • if your computer or software failed at the time you were preparing your online return;
  • if HMRC’s online services were disrupted;
  • if you were prevented from filing your return or paying your tax because of a fire, flood or theft;
  • if there were unexpected postal delays;
  • and occasionally other reasons which, if genuine, HMRC may deem to be relevant.

Excuses that aren’t usually accepted by HMRC include: Read more

TODAY is the deadline for submission of your tax return. Contact Taxfile for help filing & avoid a minimum £100 fine!

31 JANUARY was the Tax Return Deadline!

TODAY is the Self-Assessment tax return deadline!

[As at 31 January 2020]: 31st January was the last day to file your Self Assessment tax return on time with HMRC. Did you miss the deadline? If so, you’ll straight away be in for a £100 fine from HRMC, and if you continue not to submit your return, other penalties will soon also be added to your debt (click here for more details). So don’t delay — contact Taxfile to book an appointment with one of our helpful tax advisors and accountancy experts.

We’ll make filling in and filing your tax return a breeze and what’s more, we’re currently open 6 DAYS A WEEK from now until the end of January (Saturday mornings by appointment only). Don’t leave it to the last minute, though, as there is always a bottleneck for those who do — so come in as early as you can this week.

It doesn’t matter if you have zero tax to pay – you still need to submit your tax return on time! You also need to have paid HMRC any tax due for the 2018-19 financial year by the same 31 January deadline.

So get our professional help with filing of your tax return — you can book an appointment online, drop by the Tulse Hill shop or the Battersea office to book one, send us an email message via our contact form or, better still, simply call us on 0208 761 8000 and we’ll book you in and help sort out your tax return accurately and on time. Don’t delay — time is quickly slipping by and if you leave it too late you’ll be caught in the last minute bottleneck!

We’ll require your records, figures and receipts for Read more

Your Tax Return - All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Your Tax Return – All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Your Tax Return - All Wrapped Up for Christmas!

Urgent: rather than waiting until January, start sorting out your Self-Assessment Tax Return out right now.

Why now? Well, because every tax expert and accountant in the land is about to hit their busiest month in the accounting year — January. For tax professionals, January is a frantic time because everyone wants their tax matters sorted out at the same time due to HMRC’s deadlines. So, we have to take on extra staff, extend our opening hours and open at weekends — just to keep up with the demand. All of this costs extra money, so we have to increase charges a little during January to cater for the enormous increase in workload. January also becomes quite a bottleneck. In January alone, we are likely to have to prepare and submit around 500 Self-Assessment tax returns for our customers and that’s a very tall order.

So — act now & save money on your tax return

You can avoid extra charges by coming in to see us for your tax return now — well before January. It makes sense to come in early in November or December if you can. That way, we can have your tax affairs sorted in time for Christmas, avoiding the bottleneck. You can then relax in the knowledge that your tax matters have been sorted, ahead of the rush, at the best possible price.

Saturday opening

We’re open Saturday mornings at Tulse Hill from 9am until 1pm for a limited time. So, make the most of this opportunity and book a weekend appointment now, while it costs nothing extra.

Get a tax refund for Christmas!

We can help prepare and submit your Self-Assessment tax return and let you know the all-important amount of tax you need to pay or, indeed, may even be owed by HMRC. If you’ve overpaid tax, we could even get your refund for you in time for Christmas — what a Read more

HMRC’s Anti-Money Laundering Fees Increase

In December 2018, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an organisation founded on the initiative of the G7 to develop policies to combat money laundering, stated;

‘…the UK had a well developed & robust regime to effectively combat money laundering & terrorist financing.  However, it needed to strengthen its supervision, & increase the resources of its financial intelligence unit.’

The FATF conducted an assessment of the UK’s anti-money laundering & counter terrorist financing (AML/CFT), and as a result of this assessment HMRC has decided to inject money into the unit to increase supervision for those organisations that are not supervised by a professional accounting or tax body for AML purposes.

Such businesses are required to register for supervision with HMRC, which promises to provide in return more staff available with face-to-face and desk-based intervention with registered and un-registered businesses.  They will also aim to provide more educational products and activities, including webinars & online learning programs.  They hope the education will help businesses to approach all AML activities correctly from the outset.

The new fees for anti-money laundering supervision, which came into effect on 1st May 2019, has disgruntled many tax & accounting businesses.

  • the annual registration fee increased from £130 to £300 per premises for businesses with a turnover of £5,000 or above
  • the annual registration fee increased to £180 for businesses with a turnover below £5,000
  • the charge for fit and proper (F&P) testing increased to £150 from £100.
  • the approval check fee will remain at £40

On 15th April 2019, the Treasury issued a consultation of the introduction of EU’s Fifth Money Laundering Directive (5MLD) into UK’s national law.  The consultation closes on 19th June 2019 & the impact of this will highlight where accountants may have to further tighten their AML compliance.  The 5MLD will expand the definition of a tax adviser in terms of money laundering compliance, as well as highlight diligience around electronic money & individual identification, based on FATF recommendation to understand the ownership & control structure of customers.

Making Tax Digital (MTD) delayed due to Brexit

HMRC delays the rollout of Making Tax Digital (MTD) for businesses & individuals beyond 2021:

Even though MTD for VAT has been rolled out, the wider extension of the MTD scheme for individuals & businesses has been delayed till at least 2021.

The Chancellor’s 2019 Spring Statement mentioned;

“The focus will be on supporting businesses to transition and the government will therefore not be mandating MTD for any new taxes or businesses in 2020.”

MTD for income & corporation tax was scheduled to come into effect from 2020, but as the UK prepares itself for Brexit, HMRC has redirected its focus on the implications of UK’s exit from the EU.

HMRC has said that its digital delivery team and business analysis team are being redeployed to focus on ensuring that a customs solution will be in place should it be required when the UK leaves the EU.

With the current perplexity surrounding Brexit, HMRC has stressed that ‘this does not indicate any expected outcome but is due to the level of work required to deliver any outcome’.

Capital Gains Tax Rule Changes for 2nd properties and property rentals

Second Property & Rented Property ‘Tax Trap’ for the Unwary

New Capital Gains Tax rules for 2nd properties and property rentals

Owners of second properties and let properties need to be aware that HMRC is planning to introduce new rules from 6 April 2020 to require payment of Capital Gains Tax much, much earlier! The window of payment will be reduced from 31 January following the year of the gain to a mere 30 days from the date of the sale.

Effectively, ‘in year’ reporting of the estimated gains – and payment of the tax – is mandatory under the new rules. Failure to report the gains and pay the tax will lead to penalties for landlords and second home owners.

You will only be able to offset losses accrued at the time of the disposal, so losses later in the year will not be available against the payment on account.

Summing Up:

  • If you make a capital gain in 2018/19 (before the new rules kick in) you will pay the capital gains tax on or by 31 January 2020.
  • For the sale of a house that is let, or a second property, with exchange of contracts occurring on, say, 15 April 2020 with completion happening on 15 May 2020, the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has to be paid by 14 June 2020. This accelerates the payment of the tax to the Exchequer by 7 months.
  • So, perversely, the later year requires the Capital Gains Tax payment before the earlier year, as you can see above!

The other difficulty is knowing what rate to apply because a higher rate taxpayer has to pay 28% on a gain but a basic rate taxpayer has to pay tax at 18% up to the limit of the basic rate band that is unused. This is, of course, one situation where Taxfile can help to work out the tax implications for its customers. Tax calculations are what we do best and we’re here to help you!

Note that Scottish tax rates may vary.

HMRC is currently assessing feedback on their consultation, which closed on 6 June 2018.

If you believe this change of rules is wrong, one option is to write to your MP to complain.

Professional Help with Tax & Accountancy – for Landlords & More

For help with accountancy and tax for any property, lettings or any capital gains situation you may find yourself in, contact your nearest branch of Taxfile. We have London offices in Tulse Hill (SE21), Dulwich, Battersea (SW8) and another in the Exeter in the South West along with additional tax consultants in Carlisle in the North of England, Yorkshire in the North East, Poole/Dorset and Plymouth in the West Country. Call 0208 761 8000 for an introductory chat or appointment, contact us here or click the bold links for more information. We’ll be happy to help and to get your tax affairs in order.

Tax return help & accounting advice for taxi drivers, cabbies, cab firms, couriers, limos and private hire firms. We're accountants in Tulse Hill, South London, SE21.

Missed the Tax Return Deadline?

[Updated 3 February 2020]: If you missed the deadline for submission of your tax return to HMRC (that was 12 midnight on Saturday 31 January) here’s what you can expect in terms of a fine:

Table of penalties showing fines if you are late submitting your self-assessment tax return

In case you didn’t realise, you still had to submit a tax return even if you did not owe any tax and the longer you leave it, the more it will cost you — as you can see in the table above. Alternatively, use this excellent estimation tool to work out your exact penalty at any given point in time. Not sure if you even need to submit a Self Assessment tax return? No problem; there’s a tool for that too (here).

Statistically speaking, women seem to send in their returns on time more often than men; 18 to 20 year olds of either sex are the very worst with around 11% of them sending in their returns late in recent years, while those over 65 seem to be statistically the most reliable of all, with only around 1½% of them having filed tax returns late. We’ll have to wait and see how it panned out this year when the figures are in.

Taxfile are here for you if you need to get your tax return sorted out whether you’re on time or not – but the earlier the better if you’re to minimise any penalty from HMRC. We are professional accountants and tax advisors, are based in South London, and will help to get your tax affairs in order with minimal fuss. We will ensure that all your figures are correct so that you pay only the right amount of tax – no more, and no less. For professional tax help contact us or book an appointment on-line.