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Telephone: 01305 760600

Email: info@advocouk.com

Apr 19

Offshore tax evasion

From 1 October 2018, HMRC will be gaining access to information from tax havens that will enable it to identify UK citizens with undisclosed offshore assets, and by inference, undisclosed UK income and taxable gains. Why does this matter?

It matters because HMRC has introduced new legislation called the Requirement to Correct which will dramatically increase the penalties for people who have not declared tax or declared the wrong amount of tax on their offshore income and gains.

If you have declared your taxable income and gains, then you have nothing to worry about, but if you haven’t, and HMRC finds out, you could face an investigation and be required to pay the undeclared tax, plus a penalty of up to double the tax you owe - with a minimum penalty of 5% of tax owed.

You can avoid being charged the higher penalties by making a full disclosure of all undeclared tax liabilities under existing disclosure facilities.

Offshore income sources that should be declared include:

  • interest from overseas bank or building society accounts,
  • dividends and interest from overseas companies,
  • rent from overseas properties, and
  • wages, benefits or royalties earned outside the UK.

If you are concerned, now is the time to come forward. You have until 30 September 2018 to correct matters before the tougher new penalties are introduced.

Tax payers who are uncertain if they are affected are advised to call and seek guidance.

Apr 19

How long should you keep your records?

If you are self-employed, and obliged to submit a self-assessment tax return, you must keep your tax records for at least five years after the 31 January submission deadline of the relevant tax year. For example, if you sent your 2017-18 tax return online by 31 January 2019, you must keep your records until at least the end of January 2024. Records for this purpose includes those relating to personal income etc.

If you send your tax return more than four years after the deadline, you will need to keep your records for fifteen months after you submit your tax return.

If you keep your tax records on a computer, make sure you have sufficient backups of your data to meet these requirements. If you change software during the record retention period, you may need to print relevant reports if you are unable to maintain access to data backups.

If you run your business as a limited company you must keep records for six years from the end of the last company financial year they relate to, or longer if:

  • they show a transaction that covers more than one of the company’s accounting periods,
  • the company has bought something that it expects to last more than six years, like equipment or machinery,
  • you sent your Company Tax Return late, or
  • HMRC has started a compliance check into your Company Tax Return.

If you are not in business, the minimum period is 22 months after the 31 January filing deadline and at least 15 months after filing if later.

Apr 19

Spring Budget statement

The Chancellor, Philip Hammond, was keen to promote the positive aspects of the UK’s economic performance when he stood to present his Spring Statement on 13 March.

  • Employment and manufacturing growth rising,
  • Inflation and debt falling.

The speech was also peppered with the usual political gambits to boost his party at the expense of the opposition.

The one practical change that was disclosed was a change to the next business rates revaluation that will now take place a year earlier than planned, in 2021, with further reviews every three years starting 2024.

The Chancellor also revealed new consultations that may eventually shape future legislation. These will include:

  • Reducing single-use plastic waste through the tax system. This will look at ways to reduce the impact of plastic waste in our environment such as disposable plastic cups, cutlery and foam trays. Some of the tax revenue raised will be used to fund research into new ways to encourage a more responsible use of plastic.
  • Making sure multinational digital businesses pay a fair share of tax. This is an ongoing attempt to ensure that the larger digital players pay tax in the UK on sales they make in the UK.
  • Seeking views on the role of cash in the new economy. Will cash become less relevant as digital payment processes become more widely used? This and the prevention of the use of cash to avoid tax and to launder the proceeds of criminal activity will be opened to a wider debate.
  • Supporting people to get the skills they need. Improving skills to benefit growth in the economy by investing in upskilling and retraining, especially by the self-employed.

It will be interesting to see if these initiatives subsequently drive government policy and new legislation.

Feb 25

18people

Discover more about the people at ADVOCO

 

Alan Rodgers FCCA CTA - Director

After completing his degree, Alan trained with a small practice dealing primarily with owner managed businesses.  He then completed his training with BDO Stoy Hayward in their audit department.

Once qualified, Alan returned to a practice locally in Weymouth, focussing again on owner managed businesses before joining the practice in 2005 and becoming the sole Director in 2011. 

In his spare time Alan enjoys football, watching now rather than playing and spending time with his family.

John Somers MAAT - Account Manager

John was brought up in East Devon and educated at Colyton Grammar School.  He started his accountancy career in 1998 and qualified as a member of the AAT in 2001.  He is currently studying towards the ATT qualification.

John joined Advoco in 2008 and specialises in personal and corporate clients ranging from IT and defence consultants to retail, building companies and estate agents.  He is skilled in managing our Advoco Umbrella Company, advising on all aspects of taxation and IR35 and we can say that John is 'The Knowledge' on all computerised and cloud based accounting packages.

John likes to spend his weekends with his wife and young family.  Any spare time he has is usually spent following the stock market or various sports.

Jacky Comben - Account Manager

Jacky was born in Weymouth and brought up and educated in Germany. Upon returning to the UK she joined a local accountancy practice gaining a vast range of knowledge and experience, leaving some years later to become a finance director for a local export firm.

Jacky joined Advoco in 2002 and her expertise lies in a broad portfolio of clients ranging from caravan and holiday parks, engineering companies, agriculture and farms - although you'll never catch her wearing a pair of wellies!  

In her spare time she enjoys reading, swimming and she also loves to cook.

Diane Carroll - Account Manager FMAAT

Diane is originally from Wiltshire and acquired 'A' level Accountancy and the BTEC National Diploma in Business Studies.  She started her career working for an accountant's practice in Bath and Warminster, qualifying in 1988 and achieving her FMAAT status in 2013.

Diane specialises in a variety of personal and small owner managed businesses, including plumbers, electricians and guest houses to name but a few.

Diane enjoys travelling, fitness classes and listening to live music in her spare time .... and she also likes a bit of retail therapy now and then.

 

Sharon Drew - Account Manager

Sharon moved to Weymouth from St Andrews in Fife as a teenager. She previously worked both for a local brewery and a manufacturing company as a Sales Finance Manager

Sharon started working part-time at Advoco when her son was very young, completing clients' bookkeeping and payrolls. Over the years she has received on the job training for her current role as an Accounts Manager, whilst running a few payrolls to keep her knowledge up to date and to provide holiday cover for the payroll team.

Her key clients include R & D and owner managed businesses, she also looks after several dental practices and garages.

Rebekah Endean MAAT - Accounts Assistant

Rebekah started her career working in the banking industry and as finance officer for a local charity before joining Advoco in 2011.  Having gained her AAT qualification, she is now studying for her ACCA qualification. 

Rebekah works closely with Jacky and specialises in looking after a wide range of businesses including caravan parks and agriculture, she has an expert knowledge of Adbooks, Sage and QuickBooks.

In her spare time Rebekah enjoys reading when she's not otherwise running around after her 2 young children … and her husband!

Richard Panrucker - Accounts Assistant

Richard has lived in Weymouth his whole life, studying at The Wey Valley School and then going on to complete his 'A' levels at The Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester. After joining the Advoco team in February 2014, he works together with John looking after our Contractors through the Advoco Umbrella Company.  Richard also focuses on engineering Companies and defence consultants and is currently working towards accomplishing the AAT qualification.

Outside of work, Richard enjoys watching and playing an array of different sports, particularly football and basketball. He also has a great passion for cooking and can often be heard in the office revealing his most recent delicious recipe!

Helen Boulter - Accounts Assistant

Helen was born and brought up in Dorset. She studied at The Sir John Colfox school in Bridport and after finishing 'A' Levels went on to complete a Business and Administration apprenticeship.

Helen joined Advoco in March 2014 and works with Diane in managing a vast range of client portfolios.  She is currently working towards achieving the AAT qualification. In her spare time Helen enjoys horse riding and cycling, eating out with friends and planning her next adventure abroad.  Helen is also the baker in the Company, winning awards for her wonderful scrummy cakes.

Darren Rogers - Accounts Assistant

Darren moved to Weymouth in 1991 and was home schooled before going to Weymouth College to get his GCSEs. His first real job was at Dorset County Council where he stayed for 14 years, starting out as a clerical assistant before moving into HR and payroll systems testing and then Finance.  He eventually decided to study accountancy and started his AAT studies in February 2017.

Darren joined Advoco in 2018 to work alongside 'team Jacky and Rebekah' in managing their varied portfolio of clients.

In his spare time Darren enjoys swimming, running (sort of), music, books and films (especially the really bad action ones from the 80s).  His claim to fame is that he once had a quick chat with Jo Whiley while she was waiting for a car in Wales – she was very nice!

Anita Luque ACIPP - Payroll Manager

Anita was born and brought up in Weymouth. After running her own business for a number of years she returned to college to gain qualifications in the business sector, specialising in accounts and payroll.

Having recently qualified in Pensions Administration with CIPP, Anita is responsible for the management of the entire payroll section. This covers the day to day running of payroll and CIS as well as the end of year submissions. Auto-Enrolment is now a major part of the payroll processing. Anita and her team assist clients with the set up, processing and compliance of duties with the Pensions Regulator. In her spare time Anita enjoys cycling, walking and genealogy. She loves dancing and is our resident ‘Dancing Queen’.

Emma Horwood- Payroll Assistant

Emma grew up in a small town in Oxfordshire, moving to Weymouth after leaving school and continuing her studies at Weymouth college.

After spending 4 years at a local Accountants gaining knowledge and experience in bookkeeping and payroll she developed a keen interest in payroll.  Now Emma works part-time and assists running a number of payrolls which keep her busy, also stepping in to cover Anita's role during holiday periods. Emma's motto is ‘keep calm and send me your timesheets’!

In her spare time Emma enjoys quality time with her baby son and her daughter and going back to Oxfordshire to visit family and friends.

Kerry Beale - Payroll Assistant

Kerry was born and brought up in Dorset, briefly moved to Somerset, but returned to Dorset due to missing the beach!

She has always worked in banking or finance and having gained her AAT qualification in 2008, she spent 10 years with the local County Council in Accountancy, but then decided that it was time to escape the public sector and now works closely with Anita and the team in our payroll department.

In her free time, she enjoys going to the gym, walking her dog, socialising with friends and spending time with her husband, daughter and step children. 

 

Wendy Barwick - PA

Wendy lived in Bristol for a number of years before relocating to Weymouth in 1996. With a strong administration background, having been a Personal Assistant to a number of Directors previously, Wendy has diverse experience in customer services, marketing, exports, imports and HR and came to Advoco after working for a local manufacturing company for 16 years. 

Wendy's role is to give admin support to Alan, this includes HR, facilities management and compliance regulations. She is focused on giving excellent customer service, whilst maintaining and improving the Company administration systems and procedures.


Outside of work Wendy enjoys holidays abroad, Pilates to keep fit, she is also a keen follower of F1 motor racing and enjoys cooking for friends - which often includes the odd glass of Prosecco!

 

Julie Mitchell - Administrator

Julie has worked in various admin roles for nearly 30 years, mainly covering HR and recruitment. She recently moved from her job as Head Administrator for a national care provider to join Advoco as Administrator.

Julie now works in the front office and supports Jacky's team in all of their administration.  She also pitches in with our Advoco Umbrella Company at the end of each month.

Julie’s free time is spent getting lost in the countryside with ‘Harvey’, her dog. She loves animals, so much so that in her spare time she also takes care of a clutch of chickens, several geese and a goat!

Jacqui Howard - Administrator

Jacqui was ‘born and bred’ in Weymouth and studied at All Saints School.

She began her career at Prudential Assurance before she moved into the care sector for 15 years, where she had various admin roles whilst she brought up her children.  She went back to full time employment working in the automobile industry and joined Advoco in 2018 as Administrator to John and Richard, working in our busy front office.

Family time is important to Jacqui, she enjoys walking her 2 Rough Collies, affectionately known as her “fur babies”.  She also loves a glass or 2 of wine, whilst socialising of course! She also loves her holidays and trips abroad.

   

 

Jan 4

Client Testimonials

We pride ourselves on providing a professional and  high quality service

Below are examples of customer feedback

Our testimonials are anonymous, but if you wish to examine them they are available for inspection at our office

 

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"Thanks Di, I had a very frustrating look at HMRC and found something similar but less comprehensive.  I'm impressed you dealt with my email before the end of the day - that is very good service!"

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"Hi Helen - I’ve seen how much time you have put into helping get the mortgage sorted and it’s easy to say ‘it’s just part of your job’ but you’ve enough to do normally without all my extra hassle of getting a mortgage!"

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"Helen - Good to talk briefly on the phone yesterday, for the first time almost ever both of my business account have a lot of money in them and I don't have a lot of liabilities in the creditor ledger - a little bit scary!! Thanks for the schedule, debtors in in great shape.  Thanks very much for coming back to me so quickly.”

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"Hi Di - Brilliant. Your normal efficient self!" 

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"John - It's been a few months now since you helped me sort out my debts, and I wanted to thank you properly.  It's made such a difference to me. I'm able to save a little and not worry about paying the bills every month. It's taken a huge weight off my shoulders and I can finally start moving forward with my business and my life after years of disabling debt.  You worked really hard and went above and beyond to help me get things back on track and I'm hugely grateful for your kindness and support."

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 "Thank you Anita ... It's so lovely just sending it all over to you.  Don't know why I didn't do it long ago."

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"That's great thank you, I'm happy with all the above.  A weight has been lifted and we've much appreciated your time today."

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"Can I just put on record my endorsement for Rebekah’s knowledge, I came in to see about the accounts software package and she was extremely helpful, able to answer all my questions, explained the way the system worked in a manner I understood and was able to adapt and offer me an alternate system more suited to my requirements without problem. A very worthwhile hour of my time, thanks."

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 "Many thanks for the note. Was really good to see you and hear the positive advice.  You’ve captured it all I think!!"

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"This is a great piece of work for us by you Rebekah, showing the worse cash position is – £**** in April and then improving, and this is covered by £**** overdraft leaving available cash of £****.  This is a great relief for us.  We will all sleep better now!"

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"Thanks so much for your valued advice and comments John - I really appreciate all the time you've given me, especially replying so late on a Friday evening."

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"It's been a tough but amazing journey.  You were part of making it happen - thank you so much Alan.  Your staff are amazing, please pass on my thanks to them too."

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 "You are such an efficient accountant.  So hands on and knowledgeable yet so friendly with it.  Best decision we ever made coming over to your company."

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"Thanks so much for sorting this out Alan - I’m a bit overwhelmed at the moment so you have made things easier for me!  Thanks again." 

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"You young lady are an absolute marvel, I was really struggling to find an answer and after asking for your help it was done and reconciled in a couple of ticks.  Thanks Helen you are a star."

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"It was a pleasure as always to catch up with you. Thanks for your email, sent on a bank holiday! … Your summary is a perfect reflection of our discussion but just to update you, we’ve now had two estate agent valuation of our Dorset property, one for £695K and one for £795K! We knew it was going to be a tricky sale! We’re probably going to go with the lower one as we think it’s more realistic but the property won’t officially be on the market until next Spring. Meanwhile, we are pursuing the idea of raising our mortgage on ******** Close rather than selling one of our London Flats, so thanks for that suggestion. Thanks as always for your advice and input."

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"…just so much thanks for all your help ….couldn’t have got through this without you."

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"Superstar team behind me. Thank you!"

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 "Speaking with the Directors of *** yesterday, they voiced their frustration with their current accountant, they asked me who I used and what they were like.  I naturally only praised my accountant and his team of eager assistants!"

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"I’m very happy with the service you all give me - payment turned around in under a day. Thank you."

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"Many thanks for the help and advice, we really are very appreciative of your support when we get into areas that we’re unsure of."

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"Many thanks for all your support with this.  Again, we really appreciate the work you have put in"

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"Thank you for everything you’ve done for me this year, you’ve gone above and beyond."

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"We are getting there Alan! Thank you for your understanding and consideration – it has been very much appreciated."

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"Thanks for all your advice on this, I wouldn’t like to think how I’d get on without you both.  I will forever be grateful."

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"It is easy to recommend a professional and trustworthy organisation such as your’s."

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"Thank you for all your help this morning, it was greatly appreciated.  Most of it I think I understood but once I get used to using the system, it will start to make sense and before you know it I won’t know how I managed without it!!!  Thank you also for all your comments which I have noted and will put to good use.  I look forward to reading your notes as I think I will be able to revisit them when I have a problem, it’s always nice to consult a professional."

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"I appreciate all the hard work from you and your team."

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"A sincere thanks for helping to keep a roof over my head, and the kids (and grandkids) fed!!"

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"Thank you and your team for all your help and advice.  I have been drawn in to watch strictly come dancing on Saturday and your score is 4 x 10 = 40 points."

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Thank you ever so much Helen, you are a diamond."

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"Thank you for everything you have done for me this year, you have gone above and beyond."

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"We are getting there Alan! Thank you for your understanding and consideration – it has been very much appreciated."

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"Thank you so much for your input.  You’re the best."

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"Thank you for all your help with the University paperwork"

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"So much thanks Alan, I wouldn’t have got through this without your kind and generous help you have given me through all of this."

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"You’re such proactive accountants, it’s really refreshing!"

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"It seems to be a rare quality in business these days to find such support and it will not be forgotten."

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"Well done Alan.  Thank you so much"

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Your firm really helped us put our business into perspective."

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"With the help of your services, I know I am set for my retirement"

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"Sharon supports me with my accountancy needs.  I absolutely adore working with her as she is so responsive, conscientious, friendly and understanding.  This is coupled with the fact that she always gives me the facts I need, in the required time frame and in a clear manner which is easy for me to process and learn from.  I can’t see myself ever using another person or Company and I recommend her all the time!"

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"Running your own business can be a scary undertaking, you need someone with expertise who is always on your side and Alan and Sharon are always there to reassure me. Finding the right Accountant is the most important thing you’ll do after deciding to run your own business.  I found the right Accountant."

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"Please thank Wendy.  She is always incredibly helpful when I call!"

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"Thank you for the wonderful support from you all, every time I’ve spoken to any of you, you’ve always been so helpful.  We’ve gone through some bad times and thanks for being so patient."

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"Just paid your bill.  Worth every penny."

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"We are so lucky to have somebody like you who we can rely upon and refer customers to knowing that they will be looked after so well."

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"Please say thanks to John for all his work, it is greatly appreciated."

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"All good.  Have set up N’s Openspace account and she has electronically approved her tax return.  I approved my tax return last night and the transfer to HMRC was made earlier this morning.  Many thanks for all your help …… priceless!"

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"Thank you so much for everything you have done.  My mum said she left your office with a weight lifted off her shoulders.  S and I appreciate everything you do for us and are extremely grateful."

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"Thanks again for your help and patience, it is thoroughly appreciated by both of us and thank you to everyone at Advoco not only just over the last twelve months, but also just for working the way you do and having such a great team of people.  I couldn’t imagine working with any other accountancy firm, you are all amazing and always there to help and that means so much."

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"You can trouble me as much as you like, as following our recent meeting to discuss the way forward, both M and I commented on how constructive we found your advice and suggestions / recommendations to be, pity we had never received such guidance in the past."

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"I just wanted to write to say a huge thank you for your professional help and support.   My Company has received a credit into the bank from HMRC and I have just got home to a cheque from HMRC which is a personal tax refund!  You are amazing and I am extremely grateful."

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"No problem Rebekah! I wish all accounts people were as nice to deal with as you."

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Apr 11

Stamp Duty (SDLT) increases buy-to-let

From 1 April 2016, individuals who purchase additional residential properties, second homes or buy-to-let properties will pay an additional 3 percentage points above the existing SDLT rates. The higher rates will apply to property purchases in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. The additional rates are:
  • £0 - £125k: 3%
  • £125k - £250K: 5%
  • £250k - £925k: 8%
  • £925k - £1.5m: 13%
  • Over £1.5m: 15%
This will add a considerable on-cost for landlords and families that venture into multiple property acquisitions. Without this change, a residential property purchased for £250k would have had a SDLT charge of £2,500. Under the new rates this will increase to £10,000. Properties purchased for under £40,000, caravans, mobile homes and houseboats will be excluded from the higher rates. Furthermore, small shares in recently inherited properties will not be considered when determining if the higher rates apply. The budget also clarifies when companies making residential property purchases will be subject to this additional SDLT charge. In the lead up to the budget it had been speculated that significant, incorporated property businesses would be able to avoid the increase. It would appear that this is not to be. In the notes to the budget it is clearly stated: “Companies purchasing residential property will be subject to the higher rates, including the first purchase of a residential property.” Accordingly, setting up a new company for each property acquisition or transferring existing portfolios into corporate structures will not allow landlords to avoid the additional rates of SDLT on post April 2016 acquisitions. Indirectly, these changes will also affect sellers of residential property as the SDLT increases may dissuade marginal buyers from purchasing. Will we see affected house prices falling? In Scotland, property purchases are subject to the Land and Buildings Transaction Tax (LBTT), and from April 2016 a similar 3% will apply to purchases of additional property. The additional rates of LBTT in Scotland are:
  • Less than £145k: 3%
  • £145k to £250k: 5%
  • £250k to £325k: 8%
  • £325k to £750k: 13%
  • Over £750k: 15%
The surcharge applies to the full purchase price above an initial threshold of £40,000.

 

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