The rules for service charge accounts are set out in Tech 03/11
Service Charges are designed to pay for management, repairs and maintenance, they are not intended to make a profit and so will not generally incur a tax charge.
If, however, they include Interest or Ground Rent potentially there could be a taxable profit.
Service Charges in accordance with ICAEW Technical Release Note 03/11 are accounted for outside of the company and are a type trust account.
As with so many things the answer is may be!
Many Freeholds are owned by a Company in which the tenants hold the shares.
When the Company was set up to buy the freehold often the tenants will grant new long leases as part of the purchase process and have their articles of association changed to set out their entitlement to leases. The lease terms are often different lengths and values so you could have £1 voting shares and then separate non voting shares for the payments above the £1 at the time the company buys the Freehold.
In order to offer free extensions in the future the company would be set up as a Bare Trust for the tenants/nominees, this could allow the company to issue free lease extensions.
However, if this wasn’t done then a company would normally be expected to charge arms length market prices for leases or for the lease to be taxable on the tenant as a distribution or benefit.
Could you be paying more tax than is necessary?
With the UK economy forecast for growth, now is a good time to carefully plan your finances. It is essential to regularly review your plans to ensure that you are on course to achieve your business and financial goals.
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Clients regularly tell me they have had Messages from HMRC, some are almost believable!
HMRC will never notify you of a tax rebate by email or text. HMRC also won’t ask you to disclose personal or payment information by email or text.
If you have the slightest doubt that a HMRC email or text is fake, my advice is:
do not open attachments, they could contain a virus
do not click on links, they could take you to a fake HMRC site
do not disclose personal/confidential information
forward suspicious HMRC text messages to 60599 (charged at your network rate)
forward suspicious emails to the HMRC phishing team at, email@example.com
check our security guidance: Dealing with HMRC Phishing and scams.
If you think you have disclosed personal information in response to a scam HMRC email or text, act immediately. Contact the HMRC security team at, firstname.lastname@example.org, provide brief details of what you disclosed (e.g. name, address, HMRC User ID, password). Do not give your personal details in the email.
Protect yourself by reporting your suspicions to us and promoting our cyber security messages.
You can also report incidents to Action Fraud.