From 2016 to 2017: What tax changes are impacting the buy-to-let market?

It’s about time to have a closer look at what happened in the UK’s property tax world in 2016 and what is about to change in the year ahead.

New changes to tax relief for landlords could see many buy to let owners forced into a higher tax bracket from April 2017.

According to the National Landlord Association, more than 400,000 landlords could be affected by the changes, which will mean that landlords will no longer be allowed to deduct mortgage interest payments or other loan repayments related to their rental property from their turnover.

HMRC will phase in the changes, with the percentage of finance costs landlords are able to deduct from their income increasing year-on-year as follows:

    2017/2018 – 75%
    2018/2019 – 50%
    2019/2020 – 25%
    2020/2021 – 0%

The percentage of basic rate tax reduction applicable to landlords will also be phased out over the four-year period, pushing many landlords into the higher, 40% income tax bracket.

Stamp Duty Land Tax

While landlord tax breaks may be set to diminish, those in the industry are calling for changes to the controversial 3% surcharge in Stamp Duty Land Tax paid by those making additional property purchases.

Introduced in April 2016, industry leaders are now calling for the overall SDLT threshold to be raised to £250,000 – double the current £125,000 – in a bid to jump-start the new housing market.

Brits, housing and Theresa May: Bye, bye Stamp Duty? [Infographic]

If successful, the move could entice more would-be landlords to enter the market. Since HMRC introduced the new stamp duty levy in April of this year, there have been 86,400 buy-to-let property transactions, proving the levy has not put off the stalwart property investor.

The impact these tax changes will have on the buy-to-let market is difficult to forecast. However, a recent report by Savills has forecast that house prices could remain subdued for up to two years, seeing only 2% growth up to 2018, while rental demand will continue to rise.

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