Acting for over several hundred property investors, ranging from private landlords to corporate owners of high value residential and commercial portfolios, our team has extensive experience in this area.


Our 2020/21 Buy-to-Let Guide is available to download here 

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Landlord accountants and tax advisers

Landlords face a range of accountancy and tax issues which have never been more complex than now to navigate.  Previously, many investors have seen steady growth in both property values and rental income while enjoying a relatively attractive tax relief on financing costs. 

Recent changes to the tax system are now prompting property investors to seriously reconsider how to structure or restructure their businesses with a view to minimising their tax liabilities.

Some landlords are moving their properties into a company and purchasing any additions to their portfolio through the same company.  While this may be the best course of action for some, the options need to be evaluated on an individual basis.

For those just starting their property businesses it is essential to consider how tax might affect the returns they achieve.

One of the key issues will be the restriction of tax relief to the basic rate for investors buying property in their own names. These rules do not apply to corporate landlords.  Our advice sheet 'Finance cost relief for residential lets' has more information on this subject.

Highly geared investors could find they are paying tax on non-existent profits but there are some actions that might be taken to mitigate this.

For married couples and those in a civil partnership, joint ownership might be considered.  This is particularly attractive if one of the owners is not fully utilising their personal allowance and basic rate income tax band.

Interest relief restrictions do not apply to furnished holiday lettings and some property investors are switching their buy to lets to take advantage of this.  To qualify, properties must be available for letting for at least 210 days and actually let for 105 days but no more than 31 days to the same occupants in a tax year.  See our guide Furnished holiday lettings - a tax-friendly alternative?

Sometimes it is possible to rearrange borrowings, particularly if the owners are involved in other businesses that have borrowings.

Corporate Landlords

The restriction of the deductibility of finance costs does not apply to corporate landlords.  A company can deduct all the interest and finance costs in calculating the taxable profits of its property investment business.

However, a company may find it has to pay a higher rate of interest or have more difficulty securing mortgages on its rental properties.  Lenders could insist that the directors of the company provide personal guarantees before advancing loans to the company.

The advantages of investing in property through a limited company largely depend on how long you intend to hold the property for.  If you are owning the property for the long term, the main advantages of investing through a company may include:

  • Tax on disposal - companies pay corporation tax which is less than the higher rate of personal capital gains tax. 
  • Roll-up of profits - the profits made by the property can be retained by the company (after corporation tax) until extraction at a later date, such as retirement. 
  • Disposal as an active property rental business - the company can be sold as an active business meaning any gain made is liable to corporation tax, which is more favourable than capital gains tax paid by an individual. 
  • Succession planning - shares in the company can be passed on more easily than a share in a privately held investment property.

You can find out more about the pros and cons of operating a residential buy-to-let property through a company in our advice guide

How we can help

As specialist landlord accountants we provide a comprehensive range of services for property investors. For more information visit our property accountants page.

If you are interested in becoming a client of Morris Crocker, please contact us on 023 9248 4356 or you can use the enquiry form at the top of this page.

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  • Property Landlords Key Contact

Kevin Gilbert, Director

Kevin joined Morris Crocker in 1981 and throughout his career has specialised in the property development, investment and construction sectors. He acts for all sizes of businesses, from individuals through to public companies.  His particular interest and expertise is in tax mitigation.

T:023 9248 4356

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