Top tax tips for landlords in 2019
The past few years have seen many changes affecting landlords and the tax they pay, from alterations in income tax relief to new stamp duty levies on buy-to-let. As a landlord it’s likely you will need to pay tax on some of your property income. To help you make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest tax regulations Landlord Today has put together some New Year tips to help landlords avoid the property tax pitfalls – here’s a selection:
Keep on top of your paperwork
Make sure all your records are up-to-date and accurate. Being organised with all the information to hand won’t just help you complete a tax return, it’s a legal requirement to retain certain information.
Make sure you’re registered for self-assessment
You need to complete a tax return if your gross income is over £10,000, or if your net profits exceed £2,500. Even if your income is below these thresholds you should contact HMRC to discuss your situation over the phone. They may still require you to complete a tax return.
Understand your allowable expenses
You can reduce your tax bill by claiming for allowable expenses, which include the legal and agency fees for buying the property as well as repair costs. You must keep clear records of all the money you spend.
If you’re new to buy-to-let it’s important to note that your initial outlay on furniture is not an allowable expense. You can, however, claim tax relief on like-for-like replacement furniture as long as it’s for the use of your tenants and the old items are being replaced.
If you sell
You will be liable for capital gains tax if you sell a property, which is not your main home. However, tax relief may be available on a property, which was once your main residence, but has since been let out.
Is your EPC up-to-date?
Remember that it’s illegal to rent out a property without an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of at least an E rating. EPCs are only valid for 10 years. If you’re not sure about the status of your EPC, check it on the online register where you can also find details of accredited assessors.
Be ahead of the game
The government’s Making Tax Digital programme is aimed at helping individuals and businesses get their tax right and keep on top of their affairs. It is currently being phased in and will apply to landlords as well as business owners and the self-employed, who will make quarterly submissions to HMRC using cloud-based accounting software. It is a good idea to find out more about the change now, so you’re ready for it becoming mandatory.
Consult the professionals
While there’s plenty of information new landlords available online, including from gov.uk website, if you’re unsure always get professional advice from an accountant, estate agent or solicitor to make sure you’re complying with the law.
If you are a landlord, Assetgrove’s guaranteed rent scheme takes care of everything and provides you with a fixed guaranteed rental income for up to five years. Contact us now to find out more.