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The Budget 2015
23 March 2015
With the General Election on the horizon resulting in an uncertainty within the property market, landlords would have taken a keen interest in how this year’s budget would affect them. The Chancellor, George Osborne outlined very little relating to the private rented sector last week, however there was an announcement to effectively abolish the annual tax return and enable people to pay tax and submit returns throughout the year online.
The digital switchover is expected to start early 2016, whereby people will be able to pay their tax at any time throughout the financial year. Individuals will also be able to spread the costs of their tax by paying in instalments.
The online accounts will show how HM Revenue & Customs calculate your tax and you will be able to link accounting software and bank accounts to the account, removing the need to submit an end-of-year return and having to pay an annual tax bill in one go. People who do wish to continue to file an annual paper return still have the option to do so.
The National Landlords Association has welcomed this move and says it will make things simpler and easier for landlords.
To read more, please click here: The HMRC ‘Making Tax Easier’
This year’s Budget also introduced some smaller measures which could affect landlords. The failure to extend support for energy improvements beyond 31st March 2015 within the private rented sector may be significant as new Energy Performance requirements have recently been announced. This means landlords may have to fund energy improvements to their properties themselves.
The Government has also outlined plans to make it illegal for private sector tenancy agreements to include clauses that prevent sub-letting of the property. As a result, landlords will not have full control over who the residents are within their property. This has caused uncertainty within the industry as the Government wants landlords to check the immigration status of their tenants; however who would be responsible for checking this status where sub-letting occurs?
An introduction of 20 new housing zones has been announced with the constant housing shortage at the fore of media throughout the United Kingdom. This could present a new opportunity for landlords to invest in new buy-to-let properties. Further to this, the over 55s will now have flexible access to their pension funds which may also contribute to another buy-to-let boom within the UK property market.
The government is taking forward Competition and Marketing Authority (CMA) recommendations to improve the market for residential property management services (RPMS). These changes are set to improvement the RPMS market which will benefit both leaseholders and landlords. To find out more click here
To read the full Budget for 2015 please click here