How will your ‘slice of the action’ be taxed? Reply

Pie chart

‘Slice of the action’ contracts are so called because they confer upon a landowner (who holds the land as an investment) the right to share in the proceeds of any subsequent development by the purchaser. In these cases, the contract for sale of the land to a builder or developer provides for consideration that is, in whole or in part, contingent upon the successful development of the land.

A common arrangement is for the landowner to receive a fixed sum at the time of the disposal, plus a percentage of the sale proceeds of each building subsequently constructed by the purchaser on the land. [BIM60350]

‘Slice of the action’ clauses are also known as ‘Overage’ and ‘Uplift’ they are subject to anti avoidance rules because an advantage could be gained by the land owner being tax on the ‘slice of the action’ as a capital gain instead of being tax on it as trading income. There could be a difference of 25% tax between the treatments!

Often the vendor and their legal advisers are unaware of the anti-avoidance provisions for transactions in Land.

The provisions are drawn in very wide terms. Therefore, it is not possible to provide a summary of all the situations in which the rules are applicable, although there is a list of cases in which the rules should be considered in BIM60337.

There are, however, two common situations in which the rules are regularly invoked:

  • diversion schemes (see BIM60345)
  • ‘slice of the action’ schemes (see BIM60350)

Its important that starting with the Heads of Terms the legal documents clearly show the intentions of the parties.

There is a formal clearance procedure available for taxpayers who think that these rules may apply to a proposed transaction or a transaction that has already taken place (see BIM60395).

HMRC must give the applicant a decision on the transactions in land clearance within 30 days. Therefore, any clearance applications received should be identified as such and sent to the Clearance and Counteraction Team for consideration as soon as possible.

Once HMRC give a clearance, the transactions in land provisions cannot be invoked in respect of that disposal in relation to that taxpayer.

In a ‘slice of the action’ contract (see BIM60350) the following legislation is normally relevant:

  • S756(3)(d) ITA 2007 for individuals, trustees and personal representatives
  • S819(2)(d) CTA 2010 (for companies)

Where either of these subsections is in point, part of the overall gain may be exempted from the transactions in land rules. The effect of the exemption is to take out of the calculation of the income to be charged so much of the gain as is attributable to the period before the intention to develop the land was formed. In other words allowing the gain to be taxed as a capital gain.

steve@bicknells.net

How can I use my property letting losses? Reply

Boot

Landlords need to register for Self Assessment .

They will need to keep track of the rental income and claim allowable expenses

  • Mortgage or Loan Interest (but not capital)
  • Repairs and maintenance (but not improvements)
  • Decorating
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Travel costs to and from your properties for lettings or meetings
  • Advertising costs
  • Agents fees
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Ground Rent
  • Accountants Fees
  • Rent insurance (if you claim the income will need to be declared)
  • Legal fees relating to eviction

Rent less expenses will either produce a profit or a loss.

Making a loss

If you have residential buy to let properties that you own personally you can deduct any losses from your property letting profit and enter the figure on your Self Assessment form.

You can offset your loss against:

  • future profits by carrying it forward to a later year
  • profits from other properties (if you have them)

You can only offset losses against future profits in the same business.

Incorporation

If you incorporate your Buy to Let business, see our blog in incorporation tax relief..

https://stevejbicknell.com/2016/01/04/can-a-residential-property-investor-use-incorporation-tax-relief/

If you transfer your business in exchange for shares to another company, you can use any unused losses against your income from the new company.

https://stevejbicknell.com/2015/05/20/can-you-save-tax-by-transferring-your-self-employed-losses-to-a-company/

steve@bicknells.net

 

 

 

Is it time to review your property funding? Reply

Base Rates

 

Every month at PPN Rory O’Mara of http://www.closedbridgingfinance.com gives an update on Mortgage and Finance and he has agreed that I can share his information in this blog.

NEWS
• Average House Price: 9 June £297,508 August £304,116 – Zoopla
• More FTB Mortgages issued in June since 2007
• First time buyers make up 47% of the market in Q1 2016 – 154,200 Deposit is £33.960 up 14%.
• BTL arrears falling after Brexit 9,300 Q1 2016 to 6,600 in Q4

Top Buy to LetMortgages
• TMW: 2.49% 2 Year Fix 75% LTV
• B Mids: 2.84% 2 Year Fix 75% LTV
• KENT REL: 4.99% 2 Year Fix to 85% LTV
• VIRGIN: 2.54% 2 Year Fix 75% LTV
• MORT TRUST: 2.80% 31/01/18 75% LTV
• COVENTRY: 3.29% 2 Year Fix 75% LTV

Top Long Term BTL
• BMSols: 3.29% 5 Year Fix 75% LTV
• VIRGIN: 3.48% 5 Year Fix 75% LTV
• Coventry: 3.19% 5 Year Fix 65% LTV

BRIDGING & DEVELOPMENT
• Typical 70-75% LTV x Purchase Price
• Arrangement Fees 2%
• Monthly Interest from 1%

DEVELOPMENT FINANCE:
50% x GDV
100% x Build Cost in Stages
50-60% x Purchase Price

Please contact Rory to discuss the information in this blog.

steve@bicknells.net

 

Flyer

 

 

 

Is there a way that Buy to Let Landlords can reclaim VAT? possibly! Reply

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Residential letting of property is exempt from VAT, so can’t charge VAT on the Rent.

The VAT rules say, if you only sell or otherwise supply goods or services that are exempt from VAT then yours is an exempt business and:

  • you cannot register for VAT
  • you cannot recover any VAT you incur on your purchases or expenses

However, if an Individual (Sole Trader), Partnership or Company has other vatable supplies, it could register for VAT and be partly exempt.

Partly exempt business

Your business is partly exempt if your business has incurred VAT on purchases that relate to exempt supplies. This is known as exempt input tax.

Generally, you won’t be able to reclaim exempt input tax. However, provided the amount of exempt input tax is below a certain amount, it can be recovered in full.

Non-business use in a partly exempt business

You can’t reclaim VAT you pay on goods and services that aren’t for business purposes. If your business is partly exempt and you buy goods or services that you use partly for business and partly for non-business purposes you must split the VAT accordingly. You then use your partial exemption method to work out how much of the business VAT you can reclaim.

Keeping records if your business is partly exempt

If you make both taxable and exempt supplies, you must keep a separate record of your exempt sales and details of how you’ve worked out how much VAT to reclaim.

De Minimis Limits

To stay below the de minimis limits, the following two conditions must both be met:

  • the input VAT attributed to exempt supplies must not exceed £1,875 for the quarter (£625 for a monthly return and £7,500 for an annual calculation); and
  • the input VAT attributed to exempt supplies must not exceed 50% of the total input VAT incurred in that quarter.

Effectively, this allows up to £7,500 of input VAT, relating to exempt supplies which would not otherwise be recoverable, to be recovered each year by a partially exempt business.

Vatable Business Activity

You could

  1. Provide Freelance Services
  2. Rent out vatable commercial property
  3. Let property as holiday accomodation
  4. Or provide other business services

Generally, my recommendation would be to keep your business activities in separate businesses so you need to be careful not to focus on a small VAT saving for the sake of the overall business structure.

 

steve@bicknells.net

Don’t mix up your property investments with your main business Reply

Entrepreneur startup business model

There are lots of good reasons to keep property investments in their own companies rather than mix them up with your main business activity.

We have a blog explaining why residential investments should be in a company https://stevejbicknell.com/2015/08/24/5-reasons-why-you-need-a-property-investment-company/

Entrepreneurs Relief when you sell your business is one of the major reasons not to have property in your trading business as significant Non Trading Activity will be a problem, if a business contains investments and if these were more than 20% in terms of turnover, net assets, time spent by directors or profit it could mean that your business is not counted as a trading business.

What is Entrepreneurs Relief

Entrepreneurs Tax Relief applies if you sell or close your business and means that you only pay 10% Capital Gains Tax on any qualifying profits.

There’s no limit to how many times you can claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief, and you can claim up to £10 million of relief in total during your lifetime.

Companies

To claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief you must:

  • own at least 5% of the shares in the business for a year
  • be a director, partner or employee of the business

Sole traders

To claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief you must have been trading for at least a year.

Full details are on the HMRC Helpsheet HS275

steve@bicknells.net

How to use Sage One for property accounting Reply

To Let

Whether you choose to set up your property investment business as a Sole Trader, Partnership or Limited Company you will need to keep accounting records.

Landlords need to register for Self Assessment and companies need to file accounts and pay Corporation Tax.

You will need to keep track of the rental income and claim allowable expenses

  • Mortgage or Loan Interest (but not capital)
  • Repairs and maintenance (but not improvements)
  • Decorating
  • Gardening
  • Cleaning
  • Travel costs to and from your properties for lettings or meetings
  • Advertising costs
  • Agents fees
  • Buildings and contents insurance
  • Ground Rent
  • Accountants Fees
  • Rent insurance (if you claim the income will need to be declared)
  • Legal fees relating to eviction

How can Sage One help you?

Rent Collection

Sage One is cloud based which means you can access your records 24/7 on any device but more than that you could invoice your tenants and put a pay now button on their invoice (using Sage Pay).  Making it easier to pay and track rent will keep you in control.

Work with your accountant

Sage One has accountant access so your accountant can help you quickly resolve queries and provide advice, no more print out and back ups.

Budgeting and Planning

You can use the Sage One help plan your cash flow and Sage One has build in Cash flow Forecast based on supplier and tenant payments

Connected Bank Accounts

Sage One links to you bank account so you can always be up to date on rent collected

Multi User Access

As you business grows you can allow others to have access which you can control

Reporting

You could set up each property as a ‘Project’ and runs reports for each property or all properties. Here the analysis codes you can use:

Type Examples of use
Department Sales divisions, regional sales.
Cost centre Business locations.
Project A specific property or planned work.

You can also use Nominal Codes for analysis.

steve@bicknells.net

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Can you assign your property rents to a company? 1

To Let

This is a hot topic at the moment, here is the scenario…

You own a Buy to Let property personally but want to assign the rent to a specifically created company which you own. You are a higher rate tax payer where as Corporation Tax is 20%.

You want to retain ownership personally. You can’t transfer the property to company because Capital Gains Tax and Stamp Duty would apply. Incorporation Tax Relief isn’t available.

Can the Rents be assigned?

Rents

There isn’t a tax rule that says you must lease a property at Market Rent, so in theory, you could create a lease to your company for a period to match the letting period the company will give to its tenant and charge the company a nominal rent.

There are some issues with this for example PIM2220

Unless the landlord charges a full market rent for a property (and imposes normal market lease conditions) it is unlikely that the expenses of the property are incurred wholly and exclusively for business purposes ( PIM2010).

Another potential problem is the mortgage which will be in the Landlords name, not the Company name, so the rent would have to cover the mortgage payments, which means it won’t help with the new interest restrictions coming in soon.

SDLT

This will be a connected party lease and subject to SDLT at market value but as the period will be short its unlikely that SDLT will be payable.

However (SDLTM17035), the renewal of a lease will not be treated as linked with the original lease at all for stamp duty land tax (SDLT) purposes if it can be shown (with appropriate evidence) to have been negotiated at arm’s length, for example if the original or earlier lease:

  • expired naturally
  • contained no right or compulsion of either party to renew and/ or
  • was renewed following entirely new negotiations, as would apply to a new tenant.

Otherwise, where leases of the same premises are granted:

  • between the same or connected parties
  • to take effect one immediately after the other
  • whether at the same time or not

these are successive linked leases for SDLT purposes, with tax calculated under the provisions of FA03/SCH17A/PARA5. Refer to SDLTM17040 for details.

Other Problem Areas

  • The company will be a closed company so if it carried out improvements to the property these could be taxable benefits to shareholders
  • Once the company has the rents and the profits how will you extract them tax efficiently

steve@bicknells.net

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Can a Residential Property Investor use Incorporation Tax Relief? 2

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There are many reasons why residential property investors are now rushing to incorporate, the biggest reason being the Restriction of Mortgage Interest Tax Relief.

Clause 24 of the Finance Bill sets out plans is to restrict individuals on claiming mortgage interest as a cost against their property investment income, for individuals it will work as follows

2017/18 75% of the interest can be claimed in full and 25% will get relief at 20%

2018/19 50% of the interest can be claimed in full and 50% will get relief at 20%

2019/20 25% of the interest can be claimed in full and 75% will get relief at 20%

2020/21 100% will get only 20% relief

For a 20% tax payer that’s fine but for higher rate taxpayer its a disaster that will lead to them paying a lot more tax

These rules will not apply to Companies, Companies will continue to claim full relief.

When you sell or give a residential property to your Company you will incur Capital Gains Tax if you make a gain, its for this reason many investors and their advisers believe that they are ‘automatically’ entitled to claim Incorporation Tax Relief, but in many cases Incorporation Tax Relief will NOT be available!

In summary Incorporation Tax Relief allows Sole Traders to postpone/hold over a gain by transferring all their business assets into a limited company in return for Shares.

The key problem area is the Property Investment is generally not considered to be a Trade.

Some of the issues were resolved in EM Ramsay v HMRC [2013] UKUT 0226 (TCC)

Mrs Ramsey carried out the following activities

  1. Mr & Mrs Ramsey personally met potential tenants
  2. Mrs Ramsey check the quarterly electric bills
  3. Mrs Ramsey arranged insurance
  4. Mrs Ramsey arranged and attended to maintenance issues (drains)
  5. Mrs Ramsey and her son maintained the garages and cleared rubbish
  6. Mrs Ramsey dealt with post
  7. Mrs Ramsey dealt with fire regulation issues
  8. Mrs Ramsey arranged for a fence to be erected
  9. Mrs Ramsey created a flower bed
  10. Shrubs were pruned and leaves swept
  11. The parking area was cleared of weeds
  12. The flag stones were bleached
  13. Communal areas were vacuumed
  14. Security checks were carried out
  15. She took rubbish to tip
  16. She cleaned vacant flats
  17. she helped elderly tenants with utilities

This work equated to at least 20 hours per week and Mrs Ramsey had no other employment.

It is because she did the work herself that her property investment was considered a ‘Business’ and eligible for Incorporation Tax Relief. In summing up the Judge said…

Ramsay

 

If Mrs Ramsay had employed a Property Management Company or Letting Agent to do the work she would NOT have been able to claim ‘Incorporation Tax Relief’.

Most Buy to Let Landlords with one or two properties are Passive Investors who delegate all the responsibilities to professional letting agents, they will not be doing enough to comprise a business!

Steve@bicknells.net

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Extra 3% Stamp Duty on Buy to Lets – but what if you have a property company? Reply

To Let

A 3% surcharge on stamp duty when some buy-to-let properties and second homes are bought will be levied from April 2016.

This means it will add £5,520 of tax to be paid when buying the average £184,000 buy-to-let property. The new charge would have hit 160,000 buyers if it had applied last year.

George Osborne said the new surcharge would raise £1bn extra for the Treasury by 2021.

https://i0.wp.com/media.property118.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/SYQKJE07TB.jpg

But, commercial property investors, with more than 15 properties, are expected to be exempt from the new charges.

Stamp Duty on Selling Shares is 0.5% so why aren’t more investors buying property into companies and then selling the shares in the company!

See my blogs, click to read

5 reasons why you need a Property Investment Company!

10 ways to pay less Property Tax (Investors)

steve@bicknells.net

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More Tax for Landlords Reply

Mosaïque de logements

The Summer Budget 2015 was not great news for Landlords!

The 10% Wear & Tear allowance will end in April 2016 and landlords will only be able to claim for actual expenditure, this could have a ‘cap’ and restrictions, we await the full details. Many landlords will be disappointed at the loss of this useful tax relief.

From April 2017 tax relief on interest will be restricted so that by 2020 it will not be an allowable expense against profit but will attract 20% tax relief.

steve@bicknells.net