How do you create a Group using Share Exchange/Swap? Why is it done?

photo of man holding pen

Share for Share exchange is often used when you are re-organising or creating a group and benefits from tax relief.

Basically if you don’t do a share exchange you would need to sell the shares at market value creating both Capital Gains and Stamp Duty costs.

In order to do a Share exchange you must have bona fide commercial reasons for doing it and it can’t be just to avoid tax. So for example you might want to create a group in order to separate trading and investment activities and enable an investment company to obtain mortgage finance (most lenders probably would not lend to a single company doing both trading and investment in the same company as it puts the investment at risk).

Why?

Here is a common scenario, a developer buys a commercial property to develop into residential and sell, but when the project completes the market conditions have changed they want to keep the residential properties and rent them out.

During the development they will have reclaimed VAT and the first grant of residential is Zero Rated, so they get full recovery. An investor would not get this.

So to avoid partial exemption for VAT its best to move to a new company and there are bona fide Commercial Reasons too as previously noted.

Although the reclassification to investment will create a profit and tax charge a group structure will provide Group SDLT relief. See these blogs for details.

What if you move a Property from Fixed Asset Investment to Trading Stock or Vice Versa? Appropriations and Reclassifaction – Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

Do you pay SDLT on Properties Transfers within a Group? – Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

How?

The process basically has 4 stages.

Stage 1 – Form the new companies

Assuming you are now creating a new Holding Company with a New Investment Company, these need to be formed first.

Stage 2 – HMRC Clearance

Its not mandatory but it is best practice How to apply for clearance or approval of a transaction from HMRC – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

To get clearance you need to write a letter to HMRC setting out all the facts, the group structure and the commercial reasons, typically the letter is 6 to 10 pages long.

You can request advance clearances by sending an email to reconstructions@hmrc.gov.uk. You do not need to send a paper copy.

Attachments should be no larger than 2MB. Do not send self-extracting zip files as HMRC software will block them.

If possible we would like to reply by email, but we need your permission to do so by including the following statement:

‘I confirm that our client understands and accepts the risks associated with email and that they are happy for you to send information concerning their business or personal details to us by email. I also confirm that HMRC can send emails to the following address (or addresses)….’

If you’re making the application on behalf of yourself or your company adapt this wording as necessary.

Stage 3 – The Contract

This is normally done by a solicitor.

The contract deals with the acquiring company and the shareholders of the target company under which the shares are to be acquired with the consideration being shares in the acquiring company.

Stage 4 – Stamp Duty Relief

As the acquiring company is paying consideration for the shares (the issue of its own shares), then the transaction is subject to Stamp Duty. However, relief can be claimed under s77 FA 1986 if the conditions are met and the anti-avoidance rule of s77A FA 1986 does not apply. HMRC guidance is at STSM042000 starting at STSM042410. After the conditions have been checked and a claim prepared, see “How to Claim Relief” on GOV.UK. The claim needs to be made within 30 days of the contract date and, as HMRC outline, various information will need to be attached to the e-mail claim including the stock transfer form.

steve@bicknells.net

Spring Statement 2022

A summary of the Spring Statement 2022 is now available – click here

We have produced this newsletter to cover the main issues that are most likely to be of interest to you. You will also find useful commentaries to help you understand how the proposed changes may affect you personally. In addition, we have included a detailed calendar of the most important dates for 2022/23 that will help you with tax planning ahead of time. If you have any questions concerning the issues covered in this summary, or would like advice on the best possible course of action in a particular area, please contact us – click here

Commercial Property Capital Allowances Sideways Relief

IT rental business losses can be set against general income only to the extent that they are attributable to:

  • certain capital allowances,
  • certain agricultural expenses (see PIM4224).

Until the 2010-11 tax year, relief against general income could be claimed to the extent the loss was due to furnished holiday lettings. This is not available for tax years 2011-12 onwards, see PIM4130. Losses of a furnished holiday lettings business may now only be carried forward to use against future profits of that same furnished holiday lettings business.

Where a customer claims loss relief against general income, they must take the full amount of the loss available up to the amount of their general income. They can’t opt to take a smaller amount, either they claim for the full loss or they claim for none (ITA07/S121).

PIM4220 – Property Income Manual – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

The largest capital allowances are likely to be from Annual Investment Allowance claims.

Any taxpayer seeking to obtain in excess of £50,000 of otherwise unlimited income tax reliefs in any one year will find their deductions ‘capped’ (ITA 2007, s 24A). The ‘cap’ is the greater of:

  • 25% of their total income; or
  • £50,000.

steve@bicknells.net

What is the Tax Treatment of Abortive Property Investment Costs?

Most investors, whether personal landlords or companies, will have suffered some abortive costs for deals that failed.

The nature of the costs will be capital for investors.

BIM35325 – Capital/revenue divide: general themes: abortive expenditure

Expenditure that would have been capital had it been successful does not change its character merely because in the event it is abortive. ECC Quarries Ltd v Watkis [1975] 51TC153 was concerned with costs incurred in an unsuccessful planning application.

If the application had succeeded the expenditure would have been capital. In the event the application failed; no asset was acquired or modified (and the company did not rid itself of any disadvantageous asset).

What this means is that property investors don’t get any tax relief for abortive fees.

This can be extremely bad news as the case of Hardy v Revenue & Customs [2015] UKFTT 250 (TC) a 10% deposit was paid and the outcome was that HMRC disallowed the claim for relief, the taxpayer appealed and the appeal was dismissed.

It seems unfair but the seller who receives the deposit treats it as a capital gain and pays tax on it.

If a property trader/developer had suffered the loss of the deposit and the costs was ‘wholly and exclusively’ for the purpose of the trade, the expenditure might be an allowable deduction from profits.

steve@bicknells.net

  

Are you missing out on Qualifying Interest Relief?

If you pay interest on a personal loan then you used to lend money to your limited company then you can probably claim tax relief on the interest that you pay on your personal loan.

Here are the rules from HS340 – You may be able to claim relief for interest paid or for alternative finance payments where the loan or alternative finance arrangement is used to:

  • buy ordinary shares in, or lend money to, a close company in which you own more than 5% of the ordinary share capital on your own or with associates
  • buy ordinary shares in, or lend money to, a close company in which you own any part of the share capital and work for the greater part of your time in the management and conduct of the company’s business, or that of an associated company
  • acquire ordinary share capital in an employee controlled company if you are a full-time employee – we regard you as a full-time employee if you work for the greater part of your time as a director or employee of the company or of a subsidiary in which the company has an interest of 51% or more
  • acquire a share or shares in, or to lend money to, a co-operative which is used wholly and exclusively for the purposes of its business
  • acquire an interest in a trading or professional partnership (including a limited liability partnership constituted under the Limited Liability Partnership Act 2000, other than an investment limited liability partnership)
  • to provide a partnership, including an limited liability partnership, with funds by way of capital or premium or in advancing money, where the money contributed or advanced is used wholly for the partnership’s business – if the partnership is a property letting partnership, read information about the residential property finance costs restriction
  • buy equipment or machinery for use in your work for your employer, or by a partnership (unless you’ve already deducted the interest as a business expense) – relief is only available if you, or the partnership, were entitled to claim capital allowances on the item(s) in question – if the equipment or machinery was used only partly for your employment, or only partly for the partnership business, only the business proportion of the loan interest or alternative finance payments qualifies for relief)

You cannot claim relief for interest on overdrafts or credit cards.

The limit on Income Tax reliefs restricts the total amount of qualifying loan interest relief and certain other reliefs in each year to the greater of £50,000 and 25% of ‘adjusted total income’.

To claim the tax relief you enter the amount of interest paid on your self assessment return under Additional Information SA101 ‘Qualifying Loan Interest Paid in the Year’.

This could be useful for Property Investors who invest via a limited company. Here is an example

Fred Smith owns his own home worth £500k without a mortgage

He borrows 75% £375k against his home and lends it to his limited company, the interest rate from his broker is 2% cheaper than borrowing in his limited company.

So he could save £7,500 a year interest

He also gets tax relief on the interest that he has paid.

steve@bicknells.net

If you don’t charge a market property rent what expenses can you claim?

There may be times when a property owner decides not to charge a market rent or lets the property rent free. This will mean you will be restricted on the amount of expenses you can claim.

PIM2130 Properties not let at a commercial rent

Expenses incurred by a customer on a property occupied rent free by, for example, a relative are likely to be incurred for personal or philanthropic purposes – to provide that person with a home. The same applies where the property is let at less than a commercial rate or isn’t let on commercial terms.

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). So, strictly, they can’t be deducted in arriving at rental business profits. However, if the customer lets a property below the market rate (as opposed to providing it rent-free), they can deduct the expenses of that property up to the rent they get from it. This means that the uncommercially let property produces neither a profit nor a loss, but the excess expenses cannot be carried forward to be used in a later year.

A relative or friend may ‘house sit’ between normal lettings on commercial terms. Provided the property is genuinely available for commercial letting and the landlord is actively seeking tenants they can deduct the expenditure incurred on that property in the normal way. 

PIM2010 – Property Income Manual – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) states

Wholly and exclusively rule                        

Most of the trading expenses rules are applied to property income (see PIM1100 onwards). This includes the ‘wholly and exclusively’ rule which says that expenses cannot be deducted unless they are incurred wholly and exclusively for business purposes.

Dual purpose expenditure

Strictly, if an expense is not wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the property business, it may not be deducted. In practice, though, some dual purpose expenses include an obvious part which is for the purposes of the business. We usually allow the deduction of a proportion of expenses like that. 

In summary – rent free or less than market value

  • Its unlikely that the expenses will be incurred wholly and exclusively for business purposes
  • Expenses not incurred for business expenses are excluded or restricted
  • Where a property is let below market rate, you can only deduct expenses up to the value of the rent received
  • You can not use rent free or less market rent to produce a loss for tax purposes. Any excess losses can not be offset against other rental profits or carried forward.

What about Covid?

  • Tenants should continue to pay rent and abide by all other terms of their tenancy agreement to the best of their ability. The government has made a strong package of financial support available to tenants, and where they can pay the rent as normal, they should do. Tenants who are unable to do so should speak to their landlord at the earliest opportunity.
  • In many, if not most cases, the COVID-19 outbreak will not affect tenants’ ability to pay rent. If a tenant’s ability to pay will be affected, it’s important that they have an early conversation with their landlord. Rent levels agreed in the tenancy agreement remain legally due and tenants should discuss with their landlord if they are in difficulty.

Guidance for landlords and tenants – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

steve@bicknells.net

How can a developer buy a residential property SDLT free? Probate Relief

Stamp Duty (SDLT) can be expensive, normally a developer would have have to pay the extra 3% SDLT.

Acquisition by property trader from personal representatives

Finance Act 2003 (legislation.gov.uk)

3 (1) Where a dwelling is acquired by a property trader from the personal representatives
of a deceased individual, the acquisition is exempt from charge if the following
conditions are met.
(2) The conditions are—
(a) that the acquisition is made in the course of a business that consists of
or includes acquiring dwellings from personal representatives of deceased
individuals,
(b) that the deceased individual occupied the dwelling as his only or main
residence at some time in the period of two years ending with the date of
his death,
(c) that the property trader does not intend—
(i) to spend more than the permitted amount on refurbishment of the
dwelling, or
(ii) to grant a lease or licence of the dwelling, or
(iii) to permit any of its principals or employees (or any person connected
with any of its principals or employees) to occupy the dwelling, and
(d) that the area of land acquired does not exceed the permitted area

Meaning of “property trader”
8 (1) A “property trader” means—
(a) a company,
(b) a limited liability partnership, or
(c) a partnership whose members are all either companies or limited liability
partnerships

Meaning of “refurbishment” and “the permitted amount”
9 (1) “Refurbishment”of a dwelling means the carrying out of works that enhance or are
intended to enhance the value of the dwelling, but does not include—
(a) cleaning the dwelling, or
(b) works required solely for the purpose of ensuring that the dwelling meets
minimum safety standards.
(2) The “permitted amount”, in relation to the refurbishment of a dwelling, is—
(a) 10,000, or
(b) 5% of the consideration for the acquisition of the dwelling,
whichever is the greater, but subject to a maximum of £20,000.

This is also covered in SDLTM21040 – Stamp Duty Land Tax Manual – HMRC internal manual – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

This could be could be useful in the following circumstances

Property Flipping

Property Flipping is done when you buy a property do a small amount of work to it and then sell it for a profit.

Using this SDLT relief could significantly increase your profit.

Buy Refurbish Refinance Rent (BRRR)

This relief can only be used by a trading company, residential letting doesn’t count as trading. However, you could have a group of companies, one is a development company and one a residential investment company.

The development company buys the Probate Property and gets the relief.

Once its been refurbished the development company could sell the property or transfer it to the investment company.

Groups benefit from Group SDLT relief. Do you pay SDLT on Properties Transfers within a Group? – Steve J Bicknell Tel 01202 025252

steve@bicknells.net

Property and Capital Gains Tax Relief – 2020 changes

The Government love making changes to property tax, often in order to increase tax.

Legislation will be introduced in Finance Bill 2019-20 amending sections 222 to 224 TCGA. These changes will:

reduce the final period exemption from 18 months to 9 months (there are no changes to the 36 months that are available to disabled persons or those in a care home)

reform lettings relief so that it only applies in circumstances where the owner of the property is in shared-occupancy with a tenant

make some revisions to job related accommodation relief by extending it to serving members of the armed forces, who are required to live away from home and, instead of being provided with job-related accommodation, receive payments from the MOD under its Future Accommodation Model and uses those funds to pay for accommodation

legislate 2 ESC – D21 Late claims in dual residence cases and D49 Short delay in owner occupiers taking up residence

clarify the rules concerning the transfer of residential properties between spouses or civil partners – those rules will make clear that where an individual transfers all or part of an interest in a residential property that they own to their spouse or civil partner, the receiving spouse or civil partner will inherit the transferring spouse’s or civil partner’s previous history of use of that property, resulting in a fairer outcome

steve@bicknells.net

Grass Roots Sports Tax Break

sportler macht eine pause beim training auf dem sportplatz

Finance Bill 2017 introduces a new corporation tax deduction for contributions to grassroots sports.

From 1 April 2017  Companies will be able to make deductions for all contributions to grassroots sports through recognised sport governing bodies, and deductions of up to £2,500 in total annually for direct contributions to grassroots sports. Sport governing bodies will be able to make deductions for all their contributions to grassroots sports.

Qualifying expenditure will be drawn quite widely and will, for example, include payments to coaches and officials. However, no payments to participators will be eligible, other than to cover the cost of travelling to competitions.

The legislation will contain similar protections to the charity and CASC legislation to ensure that payments are made for the intended purposes and to prevent payments being made for personal benefit. gov.uk

Currently, the following provisions provide a relief for CT on payments to sports clubs or in connection with sporting events:

Under section 189 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010, sporting bodies registered as charities can receive payments that can be deducted against the donating company’s CT liability.

Under section 202 of the Corporation Tax Act 2010, payments made to Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) can be deducted for CT in the same way as payments to a charitable body.

Otherwise, section 54 (1) (a) of the Corporation Tax Act 2009 is likely to prevent payments being deductible for CT because they do not meet the test of being ‘wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the trade’.

Good news for UK Sport!

steve@bicknells.net

How much can landlords claim for wear and tear?

for rent black blue glossy web icon

Landlords have been used to claim 10% of rental income as a tax deductible wear and tear allowance, but that will change in April 2016.

The Wear and Tear Allowance for fully furnished properties will be replaced with a relief that enables all landlords of residential dwelling houses to deduct the costs they actually incur on replacing furnishings, appliances and kitchenware in the property.

The relief given will be for the cost of a like-for-like, or nearest modern equivalent, replacement asset, plus any costs incurred in disposing of, or less any proceeds received for, the asset being replaced.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/reform-of-the-wear-and-tear-allowance/reform-of-the-wear-and-tear-allowance

As the old rules apply until the 5th April 2016 it would be worth postponing any renewal purchase until after 6th April 2016, so you can claim a tax deduction in 2016/17.

It also worth noting that the old rules only applied to fully furnished property where as the new rules can be applied by any landlord who includes any items of furniture or equipment in their property.

The cost of the renewal is reduced by any sale proceeds for the item it replaces.

Detailed guidance is expected in April 2016.

steve@bicknells.net