Increasing numbers of landlords are setting up limited companies in a bid to avoid paying more tax. In effect, landlords are selling properties to themselves, even though there are some hefty up-front fees to set up a limited company.
Buy to let landlords have had a tough time of late.
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George Osborne, before he was ousted from power, set a train of events in motion to try and curb the buy to let market, which he claimed was preventing first time buyers from entering the housing market.
Mortgage Interest Rate Relief Phased Out
One of Osborne’s policies was to phase out mortgage interest tax relief. At the moment, landlords can claim back tax relief on any mortgage interest they pay, which could be up to 45% for top rate tax payers. However, from January next year, this is being phased out so landlords will have to find extra money every month to pay their mortgage.
An Allowable Expense
If a landlord sets up a limited company, the costs associated with running a buy to let property portfolio become an ‘allowable expense’. This allows landlords to offset mortgage interest payments against their income. They will have to pay corporation tax, which is currently 20%, but this drops to 18% from 2020.
“For many switching borrowing to corporate vehicles will be the solution and we are now seeing buy-to-let purchases account for 63% of all buy-to-let applications,” says one leading buy to let mortgage broker.
“Despite the costs involved many landlords are also “selling” personally owned property into limited companies because, in the long run, it is more tax efficient.”