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“Tax doesn’t have to be taxing” was the strapline for an advertising campaign run by Her Majesty’s Revenues and Customs (HMRC) not so long ago. Unfortunately for many of us around this time of year it is taxing both financially and mentally. With around two weeks left to go until the 31st January deadline to file your tax, it’s important to get it right. To help make life easier for you, HMRC has set up a webpage detailing what you need to know and do. Most importantly, it tells you what records you should be keeping, what expenses you can claim for and what you can’t. It also runs through...

George Osborne left several gifts for landlords before vacating the treasury. The first has already come into force which is the increase in stamp duty for the purchase of a buy to let property. The second is a reduction of tax relief that landlords can claim against mortgages. As it currently stands, say you’re rent is £10,000 a year and mortgage is £9,000 a year, you make a £1,000 profit. A basic rate tax payer would pay 20% (£200), higher rate 40% (£400) and top tier 45% (£450) to HMRC. This is going to be reduced and for 2017/18 this will 75% of your mortgage interest that is tax...

In April this year, it came into law that tenants can request landlords carry out improvements to a property’s energy efficiency which a landlord must not unreasonably withhold. In the not too distant future, it is going to become law that properties with a low energy performance will not be legal to let. If your property is E or above in your Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), there is no cause for concern, if it is F or below, it may well be worth considering improvements because as of 1st April 2018 it will be unlawful to grant a new lease of a property with a rating of E or below. ...

Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards Landlords to Provide Tenants As part of the Energy Efficiency Ratings Regulations of 2015, from 1st April 2016 tenants may request landlords carry out improvements to a property’s energy efficiency which a landlord must not unreasonably withhold. Tenants whose homes are an F or G rated by an Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) can request the landlord bring the property up to an E rating. If you own a rental property, it is most likely you have an EPC and in it there are usually recommendations as to how your property can be improved for energy efficiency...

Landlords to Conduct Right to Rent Checks on New Tenants As part of the Immigration Bill of 2015/2016, from February 2016, landlords must ensure all new tenants have the right to reside in the UK before letting their properties to them. Evidence must be seen, copied and held for 12 months after the tenancy has ended. Acceptable documents include: A passport or national identity card for the UK, EU countries or Switzerland A Home Office document granting indefinite leave to remain or permanent residence A certificate of registration or naturalisation as a British citizen Passports or...

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