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General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) – what it is and why it’s important to property investors

First Published: May 2016 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Many property investors are facing an increasingly challenging tax regime, following the Finance Act 2015 – restricting residential mortgage interest relief – which has received Royal Assent. There is now an added incentive for property investors to become more ‘creative’ with their financial affairs – however it is important to stay on the right side of the law. This article explains what the UK’s General Anti-Abuse Rule (GAAR) is, how it affects property investors, and how to ensure compliance with it.
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How to choose and work with a book-keeper

First Published: April 2016 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Many property investors want to leverage not only their money, but also their time, and working with a book-keeper can mean that more precious time is spent on value-adding tasks rather than the more routine tasks. This article sets out how to choose a book-keeper, and how to work with them to get maximum value from their work.
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Clause 24: Why can’t I just transfer my personally-held properties (with personal mortgages) into a limited company?

First Published: March 2016 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

With the new Mortgage Interest Relief Restrictions (MIRR) starting from tax year 2018 (also known as ‘Clause 24’), many portfolio landlords will be seriously negatively affected, and the above question is the ‘elephant in the room’ – this article explains the risks involved in transferring properties into a company while maintaining underlying personal mortgages on the properties transferred.
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Operating a property management company effectively

First Published: February 2016 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Many landlords own their property portfolio personally, and operate a property management company (PMC) alongside. There are a variety of reasons why a PMC may be useful, and there are often (not always) tax advantages to be gained. However, as always, care must be taken to ensure that a PMC is operated properly, so that in the event of a HMRC ‘Enquiry’, there are no issues that can be raised.
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Post-Clause 24 – what should I do with my properties?

First Published: January 2016 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Clause 24 is the legislation that has now been given Royal Assent and so will mean restricted mortgage interest relief for landlords from April 2017 to the Basic Rate of income tax (20%), albeit on a sliding scale for 4 tax years to 2020-21. (See previous articles on this topic in YPN, and on our website).

As a result, for those landlords who don’t wish to (or are unable to) fully-incorporate their portfolio – see next month’s article – there is now the unenviable and unforeseen task of having to re-assess whether each rental property held makes sense to be retained personally with a mortgage, given the potentially punitive tax chargeable to do so.
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Using the Personal Savings Allowance from April 2016

First Published: December 2015 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

A new Personal Savings Allowance (PSA) is being introduced from April 2016, which could have some useful benefits to property investors who also lend money, and for those with a significant credit balance on any director’s loan account they may hold. This article explains how to make use of the PSA, and how to communicate the value to JV investors.
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Can capital allowances be claimed on a HMO – the definitive answer

First Published: November 2015 | Available in: Property Articles Your Property Network

By specialist property accountant Stephen Fay ACA

Many investors are confused about whether capital allowances can be claimed on residential properties, and in particular, HMOs. This article aims to clarify the current position (at October 2015) so that investors have clarity about whether capital allowances are claimable on their HMO property. Continue Read