Landlord tax explained
When the last chancellor George Osborne announced the change, he implied that the extra tax would hit only higher-earning landlords.
It’s true that every mortgaged landlord who pays 40% or 45% tax will indeed pay much more under his proposals.
But some basic-rate taxpayers will also pay more tax – because the change will push them into the higher-rate bracket.
At the heart of the change is landlords’ future inability to deduct the cost of their mortgage interest from their rental income.
In other words, tax will be applied to the rent received – rather than what is left of the rent after the mortgage interest has been paid.
Here is a worked example assuming the landlord pays 40% tax.
What happens up to 5 April 2017
Your buy-to-let earns £20,000 a year and the interest-only mortgage costs £13,000 a year. Tax is due on the difference or profit. So you pay tax on £7,000, meaning £2,800 for HMRC and £4,200 for you.
In tax year 2020/21
Tax is now due on your full rental income of £20,000, less a tax credit equivalent to basic-rate tax on the interest. So you pay 40% tax on £20,000 (ie £8,000), less the 20% credit (20% of £13,000 = £2,600), meaning £5,400 for HMRC and £1,600 for you. Your tax bill has therefore gone up by 93%. The new rules will be phased in from April 2017 to April 2021