Tax Planning with Mark Smith and Property118
Effective landlord tax planning utilises all available tax breaks legislation provides for. Nobody in their right mind wants to pay more tax than they are supposed to pay, but not everybody knows how to go about optimising their tax position or even the existence of many forms of tax relief or ownership structures available to them.
With the correct planning it may well be possible for you to utilise tax legislation to optimally restructure your property rental business, without any requirements to refinance or to pay capital gains tax or stamp duty. We are not referring to loopholes or tax dodges, but perfectly legal structures that your average accountant might never consider bringing to your attention.
We offer tax planning consultations for a fixed fee of £400 with a guarantee of total satisfaction or your money back.
Property118 founder, Mark Alexander, has worked in property, finance, tax and law since 1987. His wife is a Chartered Accountant.
Our Admin and Compliance Director is Michael Woodfine. Our legal counsel is Mark Smith, Barrister-At-Law and Head of Chambers at Cotswold Barristers. We use compliance systems provided by Jordans.
IS TAX PLANNING LEGAL?
There is a very big difference between tax evasion, abusive tax avoidance and tax planning.
In 1936 a landmark legal case was heard in the House of Lords (Inland Revenue Commissioners v Duke of Westminster [ 1936 ] AC1 (HL)). The Duke of Westminster won the case. The judge, Lord Tomlin, stated:
“Every man is entitled if he can to arrange his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be. If he succeeds in ordering them so as to secure that result, then, however unappreciative the Commissioners of Inland Revenue or his fellow taxpayers may be of his ingenuity, he cannot be compelled to pay an increased tax.”
A lot has changed since then in regards to tax legislation but the same principles apply to this day. Providing you follow the law and do not abuse the tax system, tax planning is perfectly legal. For example, you may choose to save money in a tax-free ISA account as opposed to a taxed savings account. That is neither abuse of the tax system nor is it tax evasion or avoidance. It is simply the smart choice based on the law.
Words of Warning
There have always been, and always will be, inspired amateurs who believe they have found a new way to pay less tax. HMRC are extremely well funded to track down and deal with such matters. There are also “schemes” which are touted by slick salesman at high profile property events – BEWARE!
It is increasingly difficult to spot the difference between a “scheme” and genuine tax planning which is completely legitimate. Social media has played its part in this too because misconceptions are common and freely shared. Opinions then become divided and are often stirred as a result of bitter rivalries between competitors.
Make sure advice is double checked by your existing, trusted professional advisers and that implementation of any restructuring is dealt with by an experienced and regulated professional adviser who carries professional indemnity insurance, i.e. a Solicitor or a Barrister-At-Law.
If the arrangement is particularly complicated, and there is genuine ambiguity in legislation (which is unlikely since HMRC have updated their manuals), you may seek non-statutory clearance from HMRC before you proceed. If you are provided with Counsels opinion, which explains more than one possible outcome for the tax planning you are considering, then HMRC will usually be happy to comment on that opinion. If at all possible, work with an adviser who offers a total satisfaction money back guarantee. That way, if HMRC refuse clearance based on the advice you have been given, or your existing professional advisers disagree with the recommendations you have been given, it will have cost you nothing. Once HMRC provide clearance, providing you have been entirely truthful, there can be no come backs. Please note that unless there is ambiguity HMRC will refuse to consider applications for non-statutory clearance or to provide an opinion. HMRC do not provide a ‘rubber stamping’ service.
There will never be an optimal ‘one-size-fits-all’ business structure for tax purposes. Property118 Limited (in association with Mark Smith of Cotswold Barristers) can provide professional advice from a qualified Barrister-At-Law, insured up to £2,500,000 per claim.
Visit Property118 for more details and to view a presentation with a useful overview of some of the other options you should consider. Your can also book a Tax Planing Consultation with them and start saving today.