Taxes are no joke. If you work as an individual landlord, you must be paying income tax. However, if you buy properties as a limited company, you become liable to pay capital gains tax and corporation tax.
For the last few years, the government has been making a few changes and now, individual landlords cannot deduct mortgage from their income, and thus, their tax bill doesn’t get reduced.
This is a significant reason why it has become more practical to set up a limited company, as it comes with various tax benefits. If you wish to buy and to let properties, we’d recommend you consider setting up a limited company. Continue reading this blog to understand the benefits and drawbacks of making property purchases by setting up a limited company.
Can You Buy Properties by Setting Up a Limited Company?
Yes, absolutely. Rather, it is beneficial to set up a limited company for buying to let properties. The best part is that you’ll get various benefits for making property purchases as a limited company.
Benefits & Drawbacks of Making a Property Purchase by Setting Up a Limited Company
While you should always consult a tax professional to discuss your business and analyse what’s right for you, here is a list of benefits and drawbacks of setting up a limited company to buy properties:
Corporation Tax vs Income Tax
When it comes to landlords who work as individuals, their rental incomes are taxed under income tax. Moreover, their other incomes, such as interest and another salary, are also taxed.
If you’re working as a private landlord on a large scale, you’ll have to pay huge amounts of tax savings top of income tax.
On the other hand, if you set up a limited company for buying properties, you’ll have to pay corporation tax on the profits you earn.
Currently, the corporation tax rate is at 19%. Moreover, landlords usually pay themselves a small salary from their company and show high dividends as tax rates implied on dividends are way less than income tax.
The government made changes in the tax rules, and private landlords are no longer allowed to deduct mortgage expenses or mortgage interest from their income. Thus, there’s no way for them to reduce rental income from their taxes.
However, buying properties through a company system will allow you to treat your mortgage interest as your company business expense. Thus, it reduces the corporation’ tax liability.
Tax Benefits on Inheritance
As a limited company owner, you’ll have the liberty of avoiding paying huge amounts of inheritance tax when you pass down your business or personal name to any of your family members.
This is because the beneficiaries will be able to pay income tax and to get BPR on your assets.
Moreover, you get the upper hand over a private landlord as you can access various methods, trust structures, and shares via a limited company.
Following are the drawbacks of the property investors buying properties via a limited company:
CGT – Capital Gains Tax
You are liable to pay a Capital Gains Tax or CGT whenever you transfer property to your limited company. The CGT is taxed at the property’s market value and potential capital gains tax is still applied if you give the property to the company as a gift.
The rate taxpayers CGT you’ll pay will depend on the amount of income tax you’re liable to pay. As a normal taxpayer, you’ll be charged 18% CGT, and as a high rate taxpayer, you’ll be charged 28% CGT.
SDLT – Stamp Duty Land Tax
Stamp Duty Land Tax or SDLT is charged on properties when they’re transferred to a limited company if their value exceeds a particular amount. Here, the SLDT is also calculated on the basis of the property’s market value. Moreover, you’ll also be charged a 3% SDLT if that property is not classed as a main residence.
Mortgage & Legal Charges
When transferring your properties to a limited company, legal paperwork will be required, and you may have to pay various mortgage charges as well. Thus, you will have to consider paying these charges while setting up a limited company.
We recommend you register the limited company first and then start buying properties. This will eliminate the complexities of transferring properties.
Consider all the Ongoing Costs
When you start running a limited company, don’t forget to consider the ongoing costs, such as the cost of hiring an accountant or other employees to manage the work.
Can You Live in Your Limited Company’s Property?
The answer to the question is yes. You can live in a property owned by your company, but you may be liable to pay taxes. Moreover, you may have to face the consequences if the property you’re planning to live in has been purchased by the limited companies using the limited company’s buy-to-let mortgage.
Should You Start Your Property Business via a Limited Company?
Whether you should start as a private landlord or via a limited company depends on whether you’re planning to deal in multiple properties or only 1-2 properties.
If your plan is to purchase multiple properties, you should start by setting up a limited company.
However, if you want to buy and rent out 1 to 2 properties only, you’ll be better off working as a private landlord. It would be best if you also took advice from your accountant regarding the same.
The Bottom Line
To conclude, you’ll gain various benefits by setting up a limited company if your plan is to purchase and own investment property or to let multiple properties.
However, it would help if you went through our guide to understand various aspects of setting up a limited company and the tax implications for the same.
We hope the blog has helped you understand all the vital aspects of setting up a limited company and helps you make a wise decision.
Why us for property limited company accountancy?
We have 18+ years of experience in UK property tax and accountancy. We have helped thousands of landlords setting up limited companies for property rental business. To discuss further call us on 03300 887 912