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 HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile: Your One-Stop Tax & Accountancy Shop

TAX HELP! Your 1-stop tax shop

Taxfile has over 100 years of combined tax and accounting experience. It’s incredible to think that the key personnel have administered over 30,000 tax submissions in the past 20 years! Beginning way back in 1994 (and continuing as Guy Bridger Limited from 1997), we originally started business offering only CIS sub-contractor returns but quickly developed the service to help the self-employed, local businesses and higher rate taxpayers with their tax computations. Along the way we added tax and accounting services for taxi drivers, cab drivers, landlords and more. We also offer Capital Gains tax expertise and tax investigation help and, more recently, professional help with disclosures, written tax advice and tax planning for things like inheritance.

We have exceptional accounting experience in all key tax and accounting areas including:

Taxfile helps individuals as well as businesses. Our customers are very varied, turning over anything from £10,000 to over £1 million a year. A few are high wealth individuals who no longer need to work but still need to account for their taxes etc. Some customers have retired, others operate small businesses and some don’t even live in the UK but may have assets here. So, whatever your income, assets or situation, the message is that if you need ANY tax-related help, you’ve found the right place in Taxfile.

Taxfile also has the back-up and expertise of professional bodies on tap (so nothing is too complicated for us) and also has excellent relations with the tax authorities — we’re very well trusted by HMRC. Guy even helps in the local employment zone, which aims to improve business in the Tulse Hill and West Norwood area. So, Taxfile is very much part of the local community, particularly in South London (but expanding to other areas too — keep an eye on this blog for forthcoming information about that in the very near future).

Whatever help you need with tax and accountancy-related matters, call Taxfile on 0208 761 8000 and we’ll be delighted to help you. Alternatively, Read more

New tax planning & tax advice service from Taxfile

New: Tax Advice & Planning Service

New tax planning & tax advice service from Taxfile

You can now get tax planning and tax advice from Taxfile. We have highly experienced senior accounting staff who can give you the right tax advice when you need it most — for example, when your circumstances are changing, if you’ve had trouble keeping on top of your tax commitments and need to bring things up to date, or perhaps a friend or relative simply needs a bit of reassurance with regard to their tax situation. Perhaps you have assets or income abroad as well as income in the UK and want to make sense of your tax position. Or, perhaps you have recently made a tidy profit trading crypto coins like Bitcoin and want to know where you are from the standpoint of Capital Gains or Income Tax. Maybe you need to disclose income from property rental that you have previously not told HMRC about (more about that in a later post). Those are all examples of typical situations where our new Professional Tax Advice and Tax Planning services can help you to see the wood from the trees.

A Free Telephone Consultation

In the first instance, we are inviting clients to speak for just 15 minutes with one of our resident tax planning experts. This will be in the form of a free, introductory telephone call, perhaps in February or March if it suits you. We can then see what’s needed and take it from there. We can, of course, discuss any costs with you before you commit to anything further, and there is no obligation.

Whether it’s about labour taxes, investment taxes, business taxes, disclosures to HMRC or even professional help to support you during an HMRC tax investigation, we can make sense of all the options for you and — in a fair and ethical way — help to make sure you are paying no more tax than you should do. With decades of experience in accountancy and tax planning, we know exactly what’s what when it comes to tax, so can definitely help you. Call 0208 761 8000 to arrange your free 15 minute telephone appointment with a tax expert, at a mutually convenient time. Alternatively, Read more

The Chancellor’s Budget, March 2014

The Chancellor, George Osborne, has now presented his March 2014 Budget to Parliament. There was lots of talk about the economy, growth forecasts, supporting UK businesses and employment – as well as some obvious political spin bearing in mind the European and General Elections are just around the corner – however we thought we’d concentrate on the most important changes, mainly in relation to tax itself as that’s what is going to affect Taxfile customers and readers the most. So here is our snapshot:

For individuals:

  • The threshold before earnings are subject to income tax (the ‘tax-free personal allowance’) is set to rise to £10,500;
  • The higher rate of tax will kick in for earnings above £41,865 from April 2014, rising again to £42,285 in 2015;
  • The first part of the ‘Help to Buy’ equity loan scheme for those aspiring to buy a new home is to be extended until 2020 (previously 2016);
  • The Stamp Duty on homes worth over £500k is to increase to 15% for those which are bought by companies;
  • Inheritance tax will be scrapped for members of the emergency services who “give their lives protecting us”;
  • Cash and Shares ISAs will be merged into a single New ISA (“NISA”). The annual tax-free limit for the NISA will be £15k (£4k for junior equivalent) from 1 July 2014.
  • From April 2015, pensioners will no longer be forced to buy an annuity with their pension fund. They will now be able to cash in as much or as little as they want to from their pension pot.
  • From June 2014, the amount people will be able to invest into Premium Bonds will increase to £40k (from £30k). From 2015 this will rise again to Read more

Time for ‘tax year end planning’ (pre-Budget)

The budget will take place on March 19th 2014 so that gives us all just 5 weeks (at time of writing) for ‘tax year end planning’. So perhaps now is the time to start reviewing investments.

N.B. We’re not financial advisers (we are tax agents and accountants) so we can’t give advice on investments. But let us simply point out that if a portfolio shows signs of some gains, one can usually realise up to £10,900 in capital gains for the tax year 2013/2014, without a capital gains tax (CGT) liability coming into force.

It might also be worth considering making the most of ISA allowances before the tax year ends (April 5th). £11,520 can currently be invested into an ISA for the tax year 2013/2014, of which £5,760 maximum can be in a ‘Cash ISA’. Because you cannot carry forward ISA allowances into a new tax year, there is only very limited time remaining to make the most of the current ISA allowance. Tax benefits in relation to ISAs are well recognised in the UK, so much so that the Treasury has already looked at the possibility of capping their total value … and who knows what news the coming Budget will bring in this regard, particularly bearing in mind the continued need for austerity measures to reduce the budget deficit during these troubled economic times.

If you would like independent financial advice, Read more

Autumn Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer

George OsborneOn 5 December 2013 George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, gave his Autumn Statement in Parliament. Key announcements included:

  • A rise for the Personal Allowance, as was long-anticipated, to £10,000 in 2014/15;
  • the higher 40% tax rate threshold also increasing to £41,865;
  • A new, transferable, tax allowance of £1,000 for married couples and those in civil partnerships from April 2015;
  • For employees aged under 21 employers will not have to pay Class 1 National Insurance (‘NI’) Contributions on earnings up to the Upper Earnings Limit;
  • Capital Gains Tax (‘CGT’) for future gains will now also apply to NON-resident individuals from April 2015 (previously this had been applied only to UK resident landlords);
  • For 2014/15 the annual ISA subscription limit will increase to £11,880 (of which £5,940 can be in cash);
  • There were also announcements relating to the continuing clamp-down on tax avoidance, improvements and plans for UK infrastructure, and the proposed inheritance tax (‘IHT’) simplification for trusts.

The full speech transcript can be read here or alternatively view the following video recording: Read more

HMRC now has landlords in their sights

Residential property lettingsHMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs) has announced some new initiatives over the course of the last month and one of these is The Let Property campaign which is a campaign designed to recover undeclared tax from those receiving income from residential property lets. The idea is to encourage those landlords with under-declared income or gains (potentially including income tax, Capital Gains Tax and VAT) to contact them in order to make a full disclosure. By doing so they may well avoid the higher penalties which may be applied to them should HMRC discover the undeclared income/gains via other means. Don’t forget that they now have access to information shared across systems, including in relation to properties both at home and abroad, as well as being gained through their digital intelligence system ‘Connect’ which identifies links between individuals, entities and properties. So the message to landlords is loud and clear!

The campaign applies to landlords whether they have just a single property or a large portfolio of properties and encompasses lets to students, business workforces and the holiday market. Read more

Possible Reforms to Intestacy Rules

Firstly we should mention that we are not solicitors and therefore you should seek professional advice (e.g. a solicitor) before making a will.

What we did want to report on, however, is that the Ministry of Justice is proposing some changes to the intestacy rules governing England and Wales. The changes would affect the scenario in which a person with no children dies leaving no valid will. Currently the surviving spouse or civil partner receives the personal possessions, £450k and half of anything over that amount, with the remaining half going to the parents, or to siblings if there are no living parents, or the siblings’ offspring if the deceased’s siblings are also deceased.  The proposed new rules would instead mean that the surviving spouse or civil partner would inherit the whole estate.

But that is only if the deceased has no children. If they have children then other rules currently apply and changes are being suggested in relation to those too. Read more

Commercial letting of furnished holiday accommodation and tax

Commercial letting is defined as ‘let on a commercial basis and with a view to the realisation of profits’.
Accommodation is furnished if the tenant is entitled to use of sufficient furniture.

It will generally be necessary to calculate the furnished holiday lettings profit or loss separately from the rest of the rental business.

If a letting is to qualify as furnished holiday letting(FHL)a few conditions should be met:
• the property to be in the UK ;
• property has to be furnished;
• property should be available for holiday letting to the public for at least 140 days a year;
• it should be let commercially for 70 days or more, and
• cannot not be occupied for more than 31 days by the same person in any period of 7 months.
The difference between residential lets and holiday lets is that with residential ones you can claim a certain relief called wear and tear as compared to the holiday ones where you can claim capital allowances.

Capital allowances can include the cost of furnishings and furniture, and equipment such as refrigerators and washing machines.

Another important difference between residential and holiday lettings is that with holiday ones you can offset any loss you make in the year against other type of income.
You may also be able to take advantage of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reliefs, such as ‘business asset roll-over relief’.
For example, if you reinvest within three years in another UK holiday letting property or certain other assets costing the same as or more than you got for the property you have sold, you may be able to defer payment of CGT until you dispose of those new assets.
To work out your taxable profit you deduct your allowable expenses from your gross rental income. These include:
•Letting agent fees (where applicable)
•Legal and accountant fees
•Buildings and contents insurance
•Interest on mortgage payments
•Maintenance and repair costs (but not improvements)
•Utility bills
•Council Tax
•Cleaning or gardening
•Other costs related to letting the property, such as phone calls, advertising and stationery.
Landlords with income from furnished holiday accommodation in the UK are
currently treated as if they are trading for certain tax purposes, as long as they
satisfy the above criteria.
Landlords with income from furnished holiday accommodation elsewhere in the
European Economic Area (EEA) cannot currently qualify for this treatment. They
were treated instead in the same way as landlords of other types of overseas
property, under the property income rules.
The Government has decided it should repeal the Furnished Holiday Lettings rules from 2010-11.

Next week we are going to talk about these changes in more detail.

If you are still confused about lettings in relation to tax, Taxfile‘s tax agents in South London and accountants in Exeter are here to assist you.

April’s tax reforms

One of the most significant changes in the tax year 08/09 is the adjustment to income tax bands. The 10% band is being scrapped and the 22% band is being replaced by a 20% band. The income above £41,435 is taxed at 40 %.
There will also be changes to the amount of national insurance contributions we pay.
The upper earnings limit, up to which you pay the standard rate of 11%, is being increased from £670 a week to £770 . Any earnings above the limit are then taxed at 1%. This change will affect those with weekly earnings between £670 and £770, that previously used to pay 1% on these earnings and now they have to pay 11 %.

In terms of Capital Gains Tax (CGT), the top rate of 40% is being replaced by a flat rate of 18%. But this good news is balanced by the abolition of two tax reliefs: indexation relief and taper relief which would normally reduce the investor’s gain and so minimize his or her tax.

Changes also affect non-domiciled residents. At the moment, non-UK residents who are working in this country pay tax here on their earnings in this country but not on any of their non-UK income. From today, non-domiciled residents who have lived in the UK for more than seven years will be taxed on their worldwide earnings, rather than just those in this country, or have to pay an annual charge of £30,000.

Ed Green, financial planning manager for Chartwell Private Client, warns: “On the face of it, this looks like good news as the basic rate of income tax is going down. But the reality is that the changes to your pocket will hardly make a difference. However, one area that should be of concern is for people with a personal pension. At present, tax-relief means that, for a basic-rate taxpayer, a contribution of 78p into a pension fund is made up to £1 – this will soon be only 97-and-a-half pence. The changes will also affect higher-rate taxpayers. Now is therefore a good time to put in a lump sum.[…]Another group that will be hit by the income tax changes are those on low incomes, currently paying only 10 per cent on pay above their £5,225 basic allowance. This benefits those on an income of up to £7,455.[…] Pensioners could also be particularly hard hit by the change as they will be forced to pay the higher 20 per cent rate of tax on pension income above the initial tax-free allowance, currently £7,550 for individuals aged 65 to 74 or £7,690 for those aged 75 or more. Previously they paid a tax rate of just 10 per cent for the following £2,230 of income above this allowance, but this will now only apply to savings income.(…) “(The Independent, Saturday, 8 March 2008 )

Tell us at Taxfile in what way you are being affected by these changes and whether it has a positive or a negative impact on you as a the taxpayer.