A Guide to Buy-to-Let Property Tax

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A buy-to-let property is a popular investment choice, but there are many different taxes associated with it that you may be subjected to.

Stamp Duty

Buy-to-let properties are subject to stamp duty, and the amount you pay is directly linked to the value of the property you buy. The stamp duty needs to be paid when the purchase is completed or within the first 30 days after completing.

The stamp duty amount is staggered according to the price of the property. The first £125,000 has 3% tax, with 5% on the portion up to £250,000, 8% up to £925,000, 13% on the amount up to £1.5 million and 15% on anything over that amount.

Inheritance Tax

Should you inherit a buy-to-let property, you will need to pay inheritance tax if the property exceeds £325,000 minus any outstanding mortgage. However, if the landlord chooses to operate as part of a joint partnership with a married or civil partner, their inheritance threshold is combined and would only need to pay inheritance tax when the property value exceeds £650,000. Anything over these thresholds would be taxed at 40%.

Capital Gains Tax

If a profit is made when the property is sold and stamp duty and other fees have been deducted, then Capital Gains tax will be applied. Each person has an allowance to set against any gain, so if you gain over that amount in a single year, the Capital Gains tax will be applied at 18% or 28% depending on the income and capital gains that they have.

It is possible to reduce the amount of Capital Gains that you pay as estate agent fees, solicitor fees, stamp duty, property advertisement costs, capital expenditure and any losses made on previous buy-to-let property investments can all be deducted from the capital gain.

It is important that you declare any gains on your self assessment tax return. This means that the tax will be payable by the end of January the year following the tax year in which the property was sold. This is all set to change in April 2019 when the tax will be required to have been paid with 30 days of the property sale.

Buy-To-Let Property Income Tax

The monthly rental payments that an investor receives are considered to be income, and that income is taxable. The rent that is received needs to be declared on your self assessment tax return and the tax on this income will be charged alongside your income tax banding,

There are what is known as ‘allowable expenses’ such as insurance, council tax, ground rents, professional property fees, property maintenance, finance charges, property expenses and buy-to-let mortgage interest. These expenses can be deducted from the taxable rental income, which will minimise the overall tax that is needed to be paid.

From the spring of 2017 the buy-to-let mortgage tax relief has been reduced which has meant that landlords that were paying higher or additional rate tax could claim tax relief at their highest rate. From April 2020 the tax relief can only be reclaimed at the basic rate of 20%.

Limited Companies

Limited companies are not subject to the mortgage interest relief restrictions, and the interest can be classed as a business expense. Limited companies pay a fixed rate of 20% corporation tax, and this is set to be lowered in the future, making it a much more appealing tax rate.

Passing the money from the limited company to an individual becomes the tricky part. If taken as a dividend, income over the first £5000 will be taxed at 7.5% for basic rate payers, 32.5% for higher rate taxpayers or 38.1% for additional higher rate taxpayers. Taking the money as a salary means the company would have to pay Employers National Insurance, which could be costly.

About GowerAccountants

Gower Accountants are experienced chartered accountants based in Leicester and can offer expert tax planning, VAT advice, management accounts and services for small businesses. Established since 2007 by a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants Javeed Baig, Gower Accountants pride themselves on offering a quality bookkeeping and accounting services and first class customer service.

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By DJKL
05th Nov 2017 16:44

"Should you inherit a buy-to-let property, you will need to pay inheritance tax if the property exceeds £325,000 minus any outstanding mortgage."

Inheritance tax is generally paid by the estate not the party inheriting the asset. And IHT of course is calculated against the whole estate less reliefs and exemptions available. Tends to be slightly different with tax on failed PETs but that is not what you are saying.

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