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Property Articles

Should I repay my mortgages?

First Published: October 2012 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

This is probably the most-frequently question asked by property investors. Property is a business with big numbers – and most investors’ biggest expense is mortgage interest. Having less mortgage debt means less risk, but how many investors can really make a significant dent in their borrowings? And if they can, should they?

This article considers the pro’s and con’s of repaying mortgages, risk and tax considerations, and how to arrive at a conclusion that is right for YOU. Continue Reading »

How to claim your Home Office costs against your tax bill

First Published: March 2012 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Most landlords and small property developers run their property business from home, and not from commercial premises. As a ‘property rental business’ (the HMRC term for a BTL portfolio) is just that – a ‘business’ – some of the costs of running your home can be claimed as a tax deduction to reduce your income tax bill.

This article provides a definitive guide as to what costs can be claimed – and a handy ‘Home Office Calculator’ on our website allows you to produce a fully-supported claim to include in your year-end accounts.  Continue Reading »

Using a Company to Shield Rental Profits

First Published: February 2012 | Available in: Property Articles Property Investor News Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

The Bank of England base rate has now been at 0.5% for around three years, and many property investors are reaching the end of any rental losses they may have built up. This often means that profits are taxed at 40% as rental profits are added to any other income.

So, it’s vital that investors look at options to avoid this exposure – and appreciate that using a company can help to ‘shield’ profits from Higher Rate income tax.  Continue Reading »

Using Directors Loans

First Published: January 2012 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

In last month’s article, we covered how operating a company and having that company manage or lease your personallyheld properties, can enable rental profits to be legitimately diverted to the company. This can halve the rate of tax paid on rental profits.

The next question is – how can a Higher Rate taxpayer use the company’s funds without incurring significant additional tax charges? Continue Reading »

Tax Treatment Refurbishment

First Published: December 2011 | Available in: Property Articles Property Investor News Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

The standard of rental property these days is much higher than has historically been the case. To stay ahead of the game, many investors are refurbishing their property, often before the first let, to a high standard, and so refurbishment costs are often big money. So, it’s vital that investors appreciate the tax consequences of their refurbishment spending, so that they factor this into their financial plans. This article looks at how refurbishment costs are treated for tax purposes.  Continue Reading »

Using PPR to Reduce Capital Gains Tax

First Published: November 2011 | Available in: Property Articles Property Investor News Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Many property investors have heard of ‘Principal Private Residence’ tax relief when selling a property–this is the relief that ensures that no capital gains tax is payable on the sale of a private home (residence). PPR is a key tax relief that investors should look to claim wherever possible, as tax bills on the sale of an investment property can be reduced hugely, or even eliminated altogether, using PPR relief.

This article looks at how PPR relief works, and provides details of recent test cases, and tax-planning tips for investors to consider. Continue Reading »

Why Buying More Property Is A Better Strategy Than Repaying Your Mortgages

First Published: September 2011 | Available in: Property Articles Property Investor News Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Pound Cost Averaging…with Property!

Once interest rates return to normal levels, some investors will find themselves with an unsustainable negative-cashflow portfolio. While it is tempting to start repaying mortgages, another strategy to ensure long-term survival is to buy MORE income-generating property at today’s lower prices.

Buying assets continuously through the peaks and troughs of the market cycle is known as ‘pound cost averaging’ (the phrase is adapted from the US term dollar cost averaging) – this article explains how this strategy can protect a portfolio.  Continue Reading »

Debt Management – An Essential Skill for Investors

First Published: September 2011 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

The vast majority of investors use debt to finance their properties and so get a better return on their own cash invested. This means that, for most investors, their most significant property cost is the interest on their borrowings. With portfolio investors often having mortgages and other borrowings with different banks, on different terms and rates, understanding their debt position and interest rate exposure is vital.  Continue Reading »

Top 10 Questions to Ask When Choosing an Accountant

First Published: August 2011 | Available in: Property Articles Property Investor News Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Serious property investors should have a good accountant on their team, to minimise tax liabilities, produce accounts that help with funding and portfolio growth, and act as a trusted professional adviser. But what should property investors and landlords look for when choosing an accountant?

Clearly, it makes sense to ask the right questions when appointing any ‘supplier’ to your property business. Accountants come in all shapes and sizes, specialise in different areas, may or may not be qualified, be a people-person or a bookworm – this article covers the top 10 questions that landlords should ask to select the right accountant for them.  Continue Reading »