With the introduction and growing restriction of the Mortgage Interest Relief for personal rental businesses, many individuals are considering incorporating.
Although there are tax savings to be had by holding rental property in a limited company, it may not be a straightforward process to move from personal ownership.
A limited company offers protection to the directors against claims, which is not available to sole traders. This is often a big incentive. In addition, now the loan interest restrictions are kicking in, limited companies can still claim relief in full.
However, for all the benefits of having a limited company, there are additional costs for compliance and administration requirements. We would therefore only suggest using limited companies for portfolios of a sufficient scale.
Tax rates for corporations are currently 19%, against potentially 20-45% for individuals.
Transferring properties direct to limited companies from personal ownership will create a Capital Gains Tax charge and so this may make the transfer prohibitive.
If you are considering investing in rental properties why not make the decision now and set up your limited company with a cash injection, which wouldn’t be liable to Capital Gains Tax. Then purchase the properties directly through the company.
An alternative option could be to transfer your existing rental business to a partnership, assuming you can find at least one other person to share in the business. As a partnership, the partners are still liable for losses, etc., but there are no capital or stamp taxes payable on the move into the partnership (assuming there are no mortgages).
By running the rental business as a partnership for a number of years, then it could be possible to incorporate at a later date without any capital disposal arising.
So where do you go from here? Do you already own a number of rental properties? Are you considering your long term investment goals? Do you have cash or maybe due an inheritance that you wish to invest?
Please get in touch to discuss all your options.