Chancellor George Osborne’s Summer Budget came as a shocker for buy to let landlords as several valuable tax reliefs were restructured.
The 10% Wear and Tear Allowance for furnished lets from April 2016 is replaced with a new replacement allowance.
Mortgage interest relief is sliced at least in half for higher and additional rate taxpayers between now and 2020.
While landlords trading as limited companies see changes to the tax they pay on dividends.
Mortgage interest relief was the sucker punch for professional landlords, especially in London and the South East who pay income tax at 40% or more on their rental profits.
For these property investors, tax relief on mortgage interest is cut by 20% and 25% respectively and may call the viability of many buy to let investments into question once mortgage interest rates start to rise.
For landlords sharing their homes with lodgers, a much overdue boost in rent-a-room relief is on the way. The £4,250 tax-free allowance has remained unchanged for 18 years – coincidentally the last time the Tories announced a Budget without the restraint of a coalition partner.
From April 2016, the rate almost doubles to £7,500 a year in a bid to encourage homeowners to let out unused bedrooms.
Property companies need to rework how they pay dividends to shareholders as the Chancellor decided to throw away the rule book for basic rate taxpayers.
Instead of a 10% tax credit, basic rate taxpayers now have a £5,000 tax-free allowance on drawings and then pay tax at 7.5% on the balance. Tax rates remain the same for higher rate and additional rate taxpayers at 32.5% and 38.1% respectively.
In return, corporation tax rates are set to drop again – to 18% by 2020.
Higher rate taxpayers have won some sympathy from Osborne for bearing the brunt of an increased tax burden during the downturn.
Tax rates did not increase during that time, but the level of earnings that triggered higher tax payments fell.
Now, Osborne wants to increase this threshold to £50,000 by 2020 and has taken the first step by upping the limit from £42,385 this year to £43,000 from next April and to £43,600 in April 2017.
The gap will still be substantial if any more promised rises are to arrive between 2017 and the next election scheduled for 2020.