The National Landlords Association (NLA) is urging members to hold off from incorporating in case the Government tries to clamp down on limited companies being formed to mitigate income mortgage interest relief changes.
Richard Lambert, chief executive of the NLA, said the Chancellor hinted in his Autumn Statement that the Treasury is concerned by the drop in tax revenues as a result of businesses across the economy incorporating to reduce their tax bills.
He warned that landlords, many of whom are incorporating to preserve mortgage interest relief, should wait to see whether a consultation is launched in next week’s Budget before making a decision.
It comes as the proportion of landlords intending to take out commercial loans to fund their property purchases has doubled over the past 18 months as they look to mitigate the impending buy-to-let tax changes.
Research by the NLA shows that the proportion of landlords planning to use commercial loans has risen from 10% in July 2015 – when the changes to taxation were first announced – to 19% at the end of last year.
The changes to taxation will take place from April and, once fully phased in by 2021, will prevent landlords with buy-to-let mortgages from deducting their interest payments or any other finance-related costs from their turnover before declaring their taxable income.
This rise coincides with increasing numbers of landlords telling the NLA’s quarterly landlord panel that they would form a limited company to preserve the mortgage interest relief perks. One per cent of landlords said they would incorporate in January 2016 and the figures now stands at 6%, which the NLA says equates to a rise from 20,000 to 120,000.
Lambert said: “Over the past year more than one hundred thousand landlords have formed a limited company in order to beat the tax changes, and this overlaps with an increasing intention to look to commercial loans to fund future purchases.
“While commercial loans are available to non-incorporated landlords, they tend to be a source of funding more commonly used by limited companies looking to expand their property portfolios, so we’d expect to see this trend develop as the year plays out.”