No news is good news, they say - and the absence of any announcement about Capital Gains Tax in thre Budget was welcomed by landlords and lettings industry figures.
Angus Stewart, chief executive of buy to let mortgage broker Property Master, says: “The Budget looks to be very good news indeed for landlords. Even the increase in Corporation Tax will pass most landlords by as it only kicks in for companies making profits above £50,000.
Stewart continues: “The full extension of the Stamp Duty cut until the end of June … was at the upper end of what landlords were hoping for, given the length of time it was taking to clear the usual purchase hurdles in time to complete by March 31. But the Chancellor went beyond that and by continuing to exempt purchases up to £250,000 from Stamp Duty he will give a boost to confidence and encourage landlords to continue to invest.
“Going forward the picture we are currently seeing of continued strong rental demand, competitive mortgage rates and continued house price growth will encourage landlords to grow their portfolios.”
For those who missed yesterday’ announcements, the stamp duty holiday on properties up to £500,000 will be extended from March 31 to June 30; then from July 1, the holiday will apply only on properties up to £250,000 until the end of September.
It will not be until October 1 that the pre-Covid stamp duty thresholds and levels will resume.
However, for purchases from the start of July until the end of September the maximum SDLT saving will be just £2,500 - sizeably less than the £15,000 saving possible under the current holiday, which continues until the end of June. So far no details have been released on whether these dates will end with the hated 'cliff edge' or will be tapered to avoid a last minute disappointment for some buyers.
Landlords who have incorporated need to note that Corporation Tax is to soar from 19 per cent to 25 per cent from April 2023. There will be changes to how it is applied, especially for smaller companies, but this is likely to affect the trend towards buy to let investors incorporating.
There was no announcement on Capital Gains Tax, but this is likely to be the subject of a radical proposal to be announced - but only at consultation stage - on March 23.
Sunak has also confirmed that there will be government-guaranteed 95 per cent mortgage loans available for buyers from next month, on the purchase of properties up to the value of £600,000; however, this is thought not to apply to investment purchases.
Other measures announced by Sunak include:
- Furlough to be extended until the end of September, with higher employer contibutions from July;
- 600,000 more self-employed people will be eligible for help as access to grants will be broadened;
- £20 uplift in Universal Credit to be extended for another six months;
- Minimum wage to increase to £8.91 an hour from April;
- No changes to rates of income tax, national insurance or VAT BUT...thresholds to be frozen, meaning long-term 'stealth taxes';
- Personal income tax allowance to be frozen at £12,570 from 2022 to 2026;
- Higher rate income tax threshold to be frozen at £50,270 from 2022 to 2026;
- Corporation tax on company profits to soar from 19 to 25 per cent in April 2023, although some relief for smaller companies;
- Apprenticeship grants to rise to £3,000;
- VAT reduced for hospitality firms to be maintained at five per cent until September;
- Interim 12.5 VAT rate to apply to hospitality thereafter, to the hospitality sector, for the following six months;
- Business rates holiday for firms in England will continue from April until June;
- No rise this year in fuel or alcohol duties;
- Re-opening grants for non-essential businesses of up to £6,000 for most premises, and £18,000 in exceptional circumstances;
- Another £400m to help arts venues in England to reopen and £300m for professional sport and £25m for grassroots football to reopen;
- An additional £19m for domestic violence programmes and £40m for Thalidomide victims;
- If you have questions about the Budget, why not see if you can ask Sunak himself?