16 Apr 2020

The new tax year got underway earlier this week, bringing with it a new set of rules.

Since April 2017, the amount of money landlords can write off for tax purposes has dropped 25% year-on-year. 

From this month landlords will no longer be able to deduct any of their mortgage expenses from rental income to reduce their tax bills and instead they will receive a tax credit, based on 20% of mortgage interest payments.

The reforms to mortgage interest relief are likely to adversely affect many buy-to-let landlords, as the new system will potentially increase tax bills in a number of ways. 

Higher and additional rate taxpayers will no longer receive all tax back on mortgage repayments, as the credit will only refund tax at the basic 20% rate. 

In addition, as landlords must declare the income used to pay the mortgage in their tax returns, they could now be forced into a higher tax bracket as a consequence.

The government was urged last week to consider postponing upcoming tax changes because of the COVID-19 outbreak, but chose to proceed with the changes anyway. 

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) and the National Landlords Association (NLA), now part of the newly formed NRLA, wanted to see the government delay implementing the final part of the loss of tax relief on borrowing to buy a rented property. 

In a joint statement, the RLA and the NLA said: “To support landlords in this we are calling for a package of measures from government and mortgage providers. This includes a temporary scrapping of the five week wait before Universal Credit claimants get their first payment, pausing the final phase of restricting mortgage interest relief to the basic rate of income tax and ensuring lenders look sympathetically on requests by landlords for mortgage payment holidays where their income is being affected through reduced or non-payment of rent.”

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