12 Top Tax Tips to Easter – #6 Property ladder

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The run-up to Easter is the perfect time to consider tax planning opportunities and to put in place strategies to minimise tax before the new tax year starts on 6th April 2016. That’s why we have launched a series of 12 top tax tips to help you mitigate your tax bill.

Good planning and careful timing are critical if you want to maximise tax reliefs or minimise the tax bill on a transaction or investment, and to avoid falling foul of the system of penalties and interest levied by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).

Our 6th tax tip focuses on how to minimise tax using the property ladder.

#6 Property ladder

  • Help to Buy ISA for first time buyers allow anyone aged 16 or over, to save up to £200 per month, on top of an initial investment of up to £1,000, towards a deposit on their first property purchase. If an individual saves £12,000, the government will boost those savings by 25% to £15,000 when used for a deposit on the purchase of their first property. The government is giving an incentive of £50 for each £200 saved.
  • If you have a second home, and have lived in both, you may be able to save CGT by making an election to nominate which is your main residence.
  • If you have moved home and have yet to sell your previous home, if you cannot sell within 18 months the CGT clock will start ticking. Not all of the gain may be taxable so seek advice from us.
  • From 1 April 2017, higher rate income tax relief for interest paid on borrowings to fund residential property lettings, will be phased out over the course of three years. Holiday lettings are exempt.
  • From 1 April 2016, higher rates of Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) will be charged on purchases of “additional” residential properties (above £40,000), including buy to let properties and second homes. The higher rates will be 3 percentage points above the current stamp duty rates. New rules will be finalised in Budget on 16 March, you may choose to buy before 6 April 2016. Obtain advice from us.

Tax is a complex matter, so we recommend that professional advice is sought when considering any of the above. Our highly qualified and experienced tax team would be happy to discuss your tax affairs with you.

If you have any questions regarding your tax affairs, please do not hesitate to contact our tax team on 01491 579740.