Tax property investors

What’s in store for buy-to-let landlords in the next tax year? 

A range of changes due to be introduced in the 2019/20 tax year could mean increased tax bills for some landlords and significant savings for others.  

Personal allowances up to £12,500 

As of April we can all earn up to £12,500 before paying tax; plus the higher rate threshold is rising so you can earn up to £50,000 before touching the 40% tax bracket.   

Mortgage interest tax relief reduces to 25% 

The phasing out of deducting the interest paid on a buy-to-let mortgage continues. For 2019/20 landlords will only be able to deduct 25% of the interest paid, and as of April 2020, there will be no mortgage interest tax relief at all.  

Instead, the government has introduced a new 20% tax credit. For 2019/20 this can be applied to 75% of your mortgage interest. In real terms, this means if you are a higher rate taxpayer you’ll be paying significantly more tax, while basic rate taxpayers will see no financial change.  

Capital gains tax allowance increasing to £12,000 

Landlords will be able to earn more profits tax-free if they’re planning on selling an investment property this year, as the capital gains tax allowance rises from £11,700 to £12,000. For jointly owned assets, this means you could earn up to £24,000 in tax-free profits.  

Proposed changes to capital gains tax rules 

Changes proposed in the Autumn 2018 budget could mean that changes in the capital gains tax rules if you lived in your property before renting it out. Currently, you can let your property for 18 months after moving out before paying capital gains tax on a sale, but the proposed changes would reduce this to 9 months, and lettings relief would only apply to landlords who live with their tenants. The changes are still under consultation and if approved will not take effect until April 2020, but for those thinking of selling a former home sooner rather than later might be a wise decision.  

Ban on letting fees 

As of 1 June, landlords and estate agents will be banned from charging tenants any fees in relation to lettings. It’s likely that the upfront costs of letting a property will now need to be borne by the landlord.  

Check that your letting agent is protecting your money 

All lettings agents are required to join a government approved scheme to protect client money, including tenancy deposits and rental income. Landlords are urged to check that their agent is covered when the scheme comes into force on April 1st 

HMO licensing 

Only a only a fraction of landlords have sought the proper licences after the October 2018 rules changes reclassified them as owners of Home of Multiple Occupancy (HMOs).  Landlords should check with their local authority if they have any property that is rented to five or more unrelated people, and be prepared to pay the license fee for each HMO owned.   

What’s in store for buy-to-let landlords in the next tax year? 

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