Key points from the Autumn Statement for landlords

Buy-to-let landlords are not exactly flavour of the month at Westminster with successive chancellors increasing their tax burden over the last few years. Those hoping for something different when Phillip Hammond got onto his feet on 23 November 2016 to deliver his Autumn Statement will have been disappointed, as this trend continued. Here is
our summary of the key announcements affecting landlords.
 
Income Tax
The Chancellor announced that in the next few years the personal tax free allowance for income tax will increase to £12,500 and the threshold for higher rate tax will increase to £45,000 - good news for low and middle earners
 
Corporation Tax
There was confirmation that the tax rate on limited company profits will drop to 19% from 1 April 2017 and 17% from 1 April 2020. This on the face of it is good news for landlords who hold property via limited companies, and may drive further tax motivated incorporations. Ominously the government has said that it will be considering the whole issue of tax motivated incorporations, and it is entirely possible that this could include a review of the rules on
mortgage interest deductions (which are currently allowed in full for companies) and aggressive schemes such as ‘beneficial interest trusts’. 
 
Insurances
Insurance Premium Tax will go up once again to 12% in June 2017. This tax has now effectively doubled in the past few years.
 
Letting Agents fees
The biggest headline grabber was a commitment to outlaw the charging of letting agents’ fees to tenants as soon as possible. I’m not sure how well this has been thought through – in that it seems that one way or another the costs will inevitably be passed on to tenants – probably as increased rents.
 
Mortgage Interest/Stamp Duty Land Tax
Disappointingly there was no change to the plans to remove tax relief on Mortgage Interest, despite many protests from groups representing landlords, or indeed the additional stamp duty charge for second homes.
 
Help to buy pilot
A large scale regional pilot of a Right to Buy scheme for housing association tenants and more support for home ownership through the Help to Buy: Equity Loan Scheme and the Help to Buy ISA were announced.
These incentives should help to drive property sales; however, property prices will continue to rise if demand still exceeds supply.