How to Make the Most of the Stamp Duty Holiday

The Stamp Duty Tax holiday offers property investors, new and seasoned, a rare opportunity to make significant savings. However, as Business Development Director, Jeni Browne, explains, there’s a little more to it than just buying a property.

‘How can I make the most of the stamp duty holiday? 

In many ways, the answer is simple: buy a property and complete before 31st March 2021. However, to really make the most of it, there are a few other investment angles that you may not have considered.

Before we go any further, lets quickly recap on what the temporary stamp duty tax thresholds are: 

Property Price  SDLT Rates
(8th July 2020 – 31st March 2021)

Second Home Surcharge

Up to £500,000

0%

3%

£500,000.01 - £925,000

5%

8%

£925,000.01 - £1,500,000

10%

13%

£1,500,000.01+

12%

15%

 

So, if you were to purchase a property valued at £500,000 before 31st March 2021, you would make an incredible £15,000 saving on stamp duty! While you are required to pay the 3% second home surcharge, you will still benefit from the initial reduced rates. 

Incorporating Personally Owned Property into a Limited Company 
Since the Section 24 income tax relief changes were announced back in 2015, incorporation has been an area of significant interest for many landlords looking to regain lost profits. However, the upfront costs, including stamp duty and capital gains tax, have been an impassable roadblock for many. 

Since the stamp duty holiday announcement, we’ve had a continuous stream of enquiries from landlords wanting to revisit their incorporation options. Aware that an opportunity to make such substantial savings is unlikely to arise again, many investors are recalculating the costs and can finally take the plunge. For more information on how you can transfer personally owned property into a limited company, read our helpful blog on the process, here. As always, it’s imperative that you seek professional tax advice before making this decision. 

First Time Landlords 
Here at Mortgages for Business, we’ve seen an increase in the number of home-movers looking to retain their existing property as a buy to let. While this is sometimes through a let to buy arrangement, many are simply in a position to put a deposit on a new house and wish to take the opportunity to start boosting their income with rent. 

Where the stamp duty holiday offers a particular perk, is for those looking to upsize and retain their existing property. For example: 
Property one (existing property) = £300,000 
Property two (new property) = £450,000 

Before the stamp duty holiday, if you were to retain property one in your personal name, and purchase property two, the total stamp duty tax charge would be £19,500. Under the temporary stamp duty thresholds, this bill is reduced by £6,000, to £13,500. 

Taking the same example, but this time incorporating property one into a limited company before purchasing property two (having sought professional tax advice first), the saving increases even more! By selling the existing property that you want to let out into a limited company (which won’t incur any initial stamp duty charges due to the current thresholds, but will incur the 3% surcharge), you remove the 3% second home surcharge from the second property. In this instance, it makes the total stamp duty charge £9,000, a total saving of £10,500! And this is before you consider the potential tax savings on the rental income. 

Again, it’s important to reiterate that you must take professional tax advice before making any investment decisions, as only your financial circumstances will dictate whether a limited company structure is tax-efficient for you. 

Increasing Equity in Shared Buy to Let Property 
The final and probably most over-looked opportunity the stamp duty holiday offers, is for those who jointly own a buy to let property already. If, for example, you own 50% of the buy to let property and would like to purchase the other half from your business partner, you will need to pay stamp duty on the half you are purchasing. With the temporary holiday, the amount of stamp duty you’ll pay on their half will reduce! 

Using a similar example as before, if the value of the buy to let property you co-own is £450,000, the standard stamp duty rate you would pay, including the 3% surcharge, would be £8,750. Under the temporary rates, this is reduced by £2,000 to £6,750! 

So, there you have it; three possible alternatives to just ‘purchasing a property and completing before 31st March 2021’, which take full advantage of the stamp duty holiday! If you’d like to discuss any of these options in further detail, please do not hesitate to contact our buy to let team on 0345 345 6788 or email enquiry@mortgagesforbusiness.co.uk. Please know that we cannot offer tax advice, so do seek a professional tax advisor before making any decisions about limited company property investment. 

NB: ANY PROPERTY USED AS SECURITY, WHICH MAY INCLUDE YOUR HOME, MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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