It’s safe to say that Chancellor, Philip Hammond’s Spring Budget is unlikely to go down in the history books. But with so much going on already in the UK housing market, it’s a great opportunity to take stock.
The good news? The Budget held no further bad news for buy-to-let investors who have already felt the screws turning on profits.
As planned, mortgage interest tax relief will be gradually cut back to the basic rate of 20% between April 2017 and April 2020. Higher rate (40%) and additional rate (45%) taxpayers will stand to lose the most.
Wear and tear relief has already been capped at a rate of 10%.
However, the amount you can earn in rental profits before tax is payable will soon nudge upwards as the personal tax-free allowance – currently £11,000 – will rise to £11,500 from 6 April. And the Chancellor confirmed it would stand at £12,500 by 2020.
There was no change of heart on the 3% stamp duty loading already payable on the purchase of additional homes either. The premium has caused confusion as well controversy.
The real property focus in the Budget was on the non-residential sector.
Business rates will undergo a revaluation on 1 April, 2017 for the first time in seven years, which could see many businesses paying more.
But if your business will be one of the hardest hit by rises, the Chancellor unveiled three measures designed to cushion the impact.
- If you lose small business rate relief as a result of the revaluation, any increase in your bill next year will be capped at £50 a month. Subsequent increases will either be in line with the transitional relief cap or £50 a month, whichever is higher.
- There’s also a £1,000 discount on business rates bills (in the next financial year only) for all pubs with a rateable value of less than £100,000. That’s 90% of the country’s pubs (or around 25,000).
- Hammond ring-fenced £300m until 2022 for councils to offer business rates relief to hard-hit cases in local areas.
Businesses hoping for a wider overhaul of the business rates system, will be disappointed. The Chancellor, pledged to consult on reform of the revaluation process – before the next revaluation is due in five years.