Tax is an issue of personal circumstances and it is important to discuss your particular case with a tax expert. Below is a general account of the tax you can expect to pay when purchasing property in the UK.
Many people are choosing property investment over pensions to provide for their retirement, and property rental is an increasingly popular option. Tax will be payable on rental income at up to 40% depending on your individual case.
If you rent out all or part of your property and receive rent, for tax purposes this is treated by the tax authorities as if you are running a rental business and whether you are renting out one or many properties, for tax purposes each will all be treated as a single business.
As a landlord, you will be taxed on the overall net profit from rental income every year. The profit is calculated by adding all your rental income together and deducting any allowable property-related expenses. Income from properties owned outside the UK, described as overseas property income, is taxed as foreign income.
A Rent a Room scheme for the rental of part of your own home, a tax free ceiling of 4,250 GBP per year is allowed. If you rent out your property abroad, you may also have to pay UK tax on the rental income.
Properties that are let out to tenants living in them as their main home count as 'residential lettings'. For tax purposes, this type of business is treated differently from furnished UK holiday lettings.
For landlords who do not live in the UK for most of the time, but receive rental income from UK property, the arrangements to pay tax are different. For further information visit Hmrc.gov.uk.
CGT is calculated separately from income tax and is charged at rates of 10%, 20% and 40%, depending upon your income bracket. Essentially, CGT is charged on the proceeds of a property sale, or the market value of a gift, less its original cost, and after any selling and improvement expenses have been taken into account.
Capital Gains Tax is payable by 31 January following the end of the relevant tax year. If you are resident in the UK, you are liable for CGT on your worldwide assets and gains. Non-residents are normally not liable to pay CGT, but there are some important exceptions (eg. gains in disposal of UK assets used to carry on a trade, profession or vocation in the UK).
Purchasers of commercial property can benefit from the added advantage of a potential 75% Capital Gains Tax exemption. This can be achieved after owning a commercial property for just two years (a potential 50% exemption applies if you sell between one and two years after purchasing the property).
VAT is a hugely complex tax and is often subject to changes and interpretations, so you will be wise to check with your own tax advisor concerning your liabiliy.
Many of the costs incurred by investors in UK real estate will be liable to UK VAT at 17.5%, including legal, architects and survey fees, estate agents charges and other professional costs. While the letting of residential accommodation is, in almost all cases, not subject to VAT, the VAT paid on those costs is not generally recoverable.
VAT is charged on services relating to UK land regardless of the place in which the recipient resides for VAT purposes; the zero-rating available in respect of certain international services is not available where the services relate directly to UK land. Some associated services less directly connected with land (for example, accountancy fees) will usually be zero-rated.
Inheritance tax is a form of death duty and without tax planning in advance you could leave your beneficiaries with unnecessary tax bills and unnecessary money being grabbed by the tax man.
The value of estates above the threshold (currently £300,000 for tax year 2007 to 2008) is taxed at 40% unless it is left to a spouse. Recent legislation has doubled the value of assets that couples can leave behind without incurring inheritance tax. Married couples and civil partners now have a combined threshold of £600,000, rising to £700,000 by 2010.
Although, with a 40% rate on death and a 20% rate on lifetime transfers, Inheritance Tax is at first sight a significant amount. Various tax reliefs and exemptions are available which, properly used, can greatly reduce, if not remove, its impact:
Some investors consider owning any UK property through the medium of a non-UK registered company for Inheritance Tax purposes, while being subject to any tax considerations in their non-UK home territory.
Although Stamp Duty hasn’t yet reached the levels found elsewhere in Europe, it is nevertheless a significant cost when purchasing most UK property. Duty is charged at the following rates:
The main form of local property taxation in the UK, Council Tax, is charged on domestic property and is collected by the local authorities. Generally, the higher price, the greater the tax will be.
Valuation Bands: Each local authority keeps a “Valuation List” of all the domestic property in its area. Property values are assessed annually and put into a valuation band with a corresponding charge. The English valuation bands are:
Not everyone will have to pay the full amount of council tax. There are three circumstances when your council tax bill may be reduced:
Furnished second or holiday homes in England and Scotland will be liable for Council Tax but will enjoy a 10% - 50% discount because no one lives there on a permanent basis.
Get the latest property and investment opportunities direct to your inbox for FREE (you can unsubscribe anytime)
The Old School Tie Advantage in UK’s Property Market
British Expats Surge on UK Income Generating Property
From Great Music to Terrible Food – Fun Facts about the UK
The UK Elections and the Value of the Pound
Investor Confidence in London's Prime Property Still Soaring in 2015
UK Property Prices Average Almost 180,000 GBP
All property news from United Kingdom
Subscribe to our RSS Feed
Fill out a requirements form and our experts will help you find a great selection of properties for sale in United Kingdom.
Help me find property in United Kingdom
Considering a property purchase in United Kingdom or need to transfer currency to/from United Kingdom?
Save Thousands in Currency Transfers
When considering a buying property in United Kingdom, you are well advised to get expert mortgage advice from a mortgage broker.
Get a mortgage quote in United Kingdom
Owners Direct is one of the UK's leading direct from owner rental websites and the first choice for holiday home owners who want a cost effective and easy way to fully book their properties.
Find out more
If you own or are about to purchase property in United Kingdom, you get an insurance quote using our online insurance quote form.
Get Insurance in United Kingdom
Do you have your British assets covered by a will?
Do you have your movable foreign assets covered by a will?
Have you made plans to protect your family in the event of your death?
Get more information on Wills
Everything you need to know about transferring your UK Pension is in our downloadable guide.
Get more information on Pensions
Subscribe to our newsletter and keep up to date with the latest and best investment opportunities around the world!