Call for CGT roll-over relief to apply to Buy to Let landlords

by Readers Question

9:46 AM, 24th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Call for CGT roll-over relief to apply to Buy to Let landlords

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Call for CGT roll-over relief to apply to Buy to Let landlords

Call for CGT roll-over releif to apply to Buy to Let landlordsIt seems to me to be very unfair that one can sell almost any other business asset and reinvest the money without having to pay CGT but NOT a Buy to Let!

Should we start a campaign for a legal change?!

I am sharing this story to warn people not to make the mistake I just did.

I have just found myself in a very tricky position because of this tax issue. I bought a property about 20 years ago for £84,000 as an investment, and over the years actually paid off the mortgage. Then about 9 years ago and subsequently, I decided to buy several other BTL’s by raising a huge mortgage against that unencumbered property. Last financial year I decided to sell it because it was in need of a major refurbishment programme and the investment required would have made little or no difference to the rental value. Having sold it for £450, 000 I paid off the mortgage and reinvested the equity in a smaller neighbouring property. I assumed (incorrectly) that as I was selling a business asset it would attract roll over relief. I am now faced with a CGT bill approaching £100,000, which thankfully I do have in my savings. However, this will completely wipe me out of any cash reserves and may mean I cannot complete an extension that I started on another property.

Maybe I should have gotten a better accountant?

Tax sucks!

Kind regards

Sheridan



Comments

Mark Alexander

0:53 AM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Thanks for your excellent post Sheridan. If you would like to create an e-petition for this rest assured I would happily be the first to sign and to help you to start promoting it. To start an e-petition please see >>> http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/

Jerry Jones

5:16 AM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

I can't see this being a popular campaign, unfortunately. We are viewed as being somewhere between bankers and politicians in terms of the public's regard for us.

Mark Alexander

6:30 AM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

That's just propaganda Jerry. Most tenants hold most landlords and letting agents in high regard in my experience in much the same way as I hold most of my tenants in high regard.

In any event, we are not seeking public opinion here, just a united voice form landlords.

If you'd have watched the House of Commons debate about the Private Rented sector yesterday you would appreciate how important it is to both sides of the government to incentivise the growth of the PRS. Most are very much against additional regulation and their biggest frustration is that existing legislation (which they believe is perfectly adequate) is not being utilised by Councils to deal with rogues.

They are clearly looking for ways to incentive growth of the PRS so let's tell them what we want. This is just one of the things on the list but we need to start somewhere.

18:03 PM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

This is one of the things that put me off “rent to buy” as it could be costly if two properties
were brought in the same year.

I think a good case could be made for allowing “Role Over” without “Entrepreneurs' Relief”, with some sort of record at the land register so you can’t “forget” to tell HMRC the correct base cost when you do cash up. However I think the max tax detectable mortgage would have to be limited to the base cost.

I would also like to be able to spread the gains over the preceding year and the next year, as it is very hard to sell part of the holding you have in a property unlike stocks and shares. After all framers and authors can spread their income over a number of years.

When Ireland reduced the rate of Capital gains tax, the amount of tax collected went up, as people started to sell property that were no longer in use, rather than waiting for death to sort out the tax problem. (However their rates were a lot higher then what we have)

Mark Alexander

21:16 PM, 25th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Hi Ian

I can’t see why it would need to be that complicated. The rules just need to be the same as they would be for any other type of commercial property such as a shop, office, factory, pub, care home etc.

Adrian Jones

9:55 AM, 26th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Happy to support the e petition. However, I think the key lesson here is to spend a few hundred pounds getting professional advice before making a decision.
Sheridan asks whether he should have used a better accountants. Does this mean his accountant didn't warn of the tax liability? If so there may be a case of professional negligence.

Mark Garner

11:00 AM, 26th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Yes I totally agree as landlords in most respects are treated like a business with all the current letting legislation (over 100 different pieces of legislation) however landlords are not allowed the same tax treatment as other business owners. This is a ridiculous situation especially when the Government need to promote growth in the PRS to house an ever growing demand to rent from the UK population. I am all for growing the PRS to house people who wish to rent but all the current government policies ( taxation and planning polices in particular) are stopping the growth so the result sadly for tenants and good for existing landlords is rising rents.

To increase the size of the UK PRS the Government need to change their current policy on:-

House Planning - more houses need to be built on Brown then Green Belt. Perhaps the UK government should look at America and perhaps introduce 'Zoning' so then some developments could just be built for rental.

Taxation - introduce CGT roll over relief for private landlords and treat property rental profits as earned income not UNEARNED income. Allow SIPP's to purchase residential property.

To move this forward I think we need to be working with the all the large housing groups who work closely with tenants as the Government will not see pleasing landlords as a vote winner but may see helping to provide homes for an ever growing number of tenants as a better vote winner.

Mark Alexander

12:02 PM, 26th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Very well said

Annette Stone

13:05 PM, 26th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Hallo everyone. I love this article. I do not think I have anything new to add but I want to offer my support.
If we had this sort of cgt relief I think it would make all the difference to the housing market. If landlords knew they were not going to get clobbered for cgt every time they tried to sell something and then buy something else the market would probably be a bit more fluid. People would be more selling to take out their profit and perhaps purchase more properties which would mean their were more flats/houses available to rent. I know this is basically what Mark Alexander is saying is suggesting and as always, he is right. I also endorse Mark Garner's comments. What I find amazing is that this does not occur to Government who much prefer "tinkering" with planning permission and having discussions about what is needed rather than actually doing anything.
On a personal note my husband is a chartered accountant and he is always telling me that "I can't afford to sell any of my pension portfolio because of cgt". I do what everyone does and if I need money to pay for a new purchase I remortgage something that I have had for years to release funds.
What I think needs to happen is that the Government needs to accept that the PRS is a business and that it should be treated as a business with all the benefits available to other businesses. The thing is that this might make some people squeal as there is a sort of view held in some circles that we should be acting as a public service. The banks could also do with being a bit more professional in this regard

Mary Latham

13:06 PM, 26th January 2013
About 6 years ago

Very happy to support this. I have never been able to get an answer to why we are not allowed rollover relief when we sell and invest the proceeds in more property to let. Legally avoiding captial gains tax and inheritance tax has been a life work for me
Follow me on Twitter@landlordtweets

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