Taxfile newsletter (Autumn 2015)

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Taxfile newsletter (Autumn 2015)Check out our latest A4 newsletter — which is jam-packed with ways to save money when dealing with your tax affairs and is more comprehensive than our recent e-newsletter. Savings include our 5% Early Bird discount for help with your tax return or accounts before Christmas, our offer to reduce your Taxfile bill by a further 12½% if you introduce a friend who then becomes a Taxfile client, a shout out to all sub-contractors in the construction industry who, if they act fast, can have their CIS tax refunds in time for Christmas, plus Key Dates in the tax calendar, a warning to Landlords — and a whole lot more.

Download the newsletter here (Acrobat PDF format – right-click to save the PDF to your hard drive then open it in Acrobat Reader or alternatively left-click the link to view the newsletter directly in most browsers).

Landlords warned over tax on Income from lettings & property investments

Buy-to-let Changes Are Coming — Landlords Beware

Landlords warned over tax on Income from lettings & property investmentsA warning and reminder to landlords: the Chancellor’s Summer budget back in July will hit buy-to-let investors’ profits once the changes kick in, so now is the time to start planning ahead. Not all landlords will be affected though; if their rental property is mortgage free or if they sell within the next 2 years these changes won’t affect them. However those landlords that are Higher and Additional taxpayers will notice their tax relief reduce by 2020. Also, investors near the tax threshold could find themselves in the next tax bracket, which could have a knock-on effect and increase their tax exposure.

So what are the proposed tax changes?

There are basically two:

  1. Firstly, the amount of tax relief landlords can claim on their mortgage interest will now be capped at basic rate and;
  2. Secondly, landlords will no longer be able to subtract their mortgage interest from their rental income before they calculate their taxable profit.

One in five landlords are expected to have to pay more tax because of these changes, however the new rules will not be phased in until between 2017 and 2021 according to the latest information.

What steps can landlords take?

There are several steps that investors can take to conserve as much profit as possible and to limit the amount of any extra tax payable. For example: Read more

HMRC are clamping down on landlords

HMRC are clamping down on landlords who do not declare income from lettingsHMRC are constantly reviewing who has and has not declared income properly from letting out property, whether that’s from short-term lets, long-term lets, holiday lets, letting rooms to students or to workforces. And with new, sophisticated, data sharing systems now in full force across many agencies, authorities, online, via tip-offs and surveillance, the Government has its sights on an estimated 1.5 million landlords who they think have under-paid tax.

Taxfile are here to help landlords get their tax right and to make sure all genuine expenditure is offset against their final tax bill. They can also help out when things have become complicated by liaising with HMRC on behalf of the landlord under fire. Contact Taxfile for an informal chat, without obligation (you can even book an appointment online) or ask for a copy of our ‘Landlords Beware’ information sheet.

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.