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  • Tax

    Forming Partnership to Avoid Stamp Duty

    I'm a landlord. I've got no qualifications other than a Masters Degree in common sense. I don't know how much they charge as I don't get my advice that way. I read up on the subject.

    My philosophy is that I need to know more than my accountant. Most accountants are not property specialists and even those that are don't really know how to maximise savings for landlords. I'd say there are only around 10% of property specialist accountants that are any good. You can totally forget other accountants that don't specialise in property. Ideally you want an accountant that is a landlord himself. You also need to be aware that most accountants aren't that bothered if they save you money or not. Most of them act like unpaid tax collectors. They still get their fee off you regardless of how well they look after your interests.

    There are many grey areas when it comes to property tax. How safe you want to play it depends on your own attitude to risk. Most accountants are totally risk averse which for the majority of landlords is no good. It means you are probably paying more tax than your own personal risk profile would be happy with.

    IMHO it is imperative that landlords professionalise as much as possible to maximise their returns. Part of this professionalisation is to know as much about tax as possible due to the huge lack of specialist knowledge amongst accountants and tax advisors. Also all the tax changes the government have brought in and will bring in in future makes this more important now than ever.

    I would only use a specialist advisor if my affairs were complex. Most landlord's affairs are reasonably straightforward so if you read up on the subject you will really stand out from the crowd and will keep your accountant on his toes.

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    Agree with you - cant remember the name of the member on here but I do remember them saying that we, personally will care for our money far more than anyone else.

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    'I'm very confident that the vast majority of people reading my thread thought they had to form a partnership and wait 3 years before incorporating to avoid stamp duty.'

    THAT WAS MY UNDERSTANDING!

    IM ALSO CONFUSED WHETHER THE OWNERSHIP OF THE RENTALS NEEDS TO BE TRANSFERRED INTO THE PARTNERSHIP, WITH ALL THE COSTS THAT INVOLVES.

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    Properties are not transferred into a partnership. They are still owned as before in personal names. A partnership is formed when registered at HMRC. Say there is a husband and wife. You will still do individual self assessment returns but there will also be a joint partnership return. It is advisable to have a partnership agreement and separate bank account for the partnership.

    Partnerships are being touted as being a stepping stone to transferring properties into a limited company to avoid stamp duty. It is used to help convince HMRC that there is a legitimate letting business being conducted to make it more certain that HMRC won’t come after you for stamp duty at a later date. Typically landlords are advised to stay in the partnership for 3 years to lend credence to the proposition that a proper letting business is being operated.
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    thanks.  

    I was told we would each need to complete the s/a partnership pages rather than land and property.

    any idea why the experts say it depends on circumstances, and sometimes you do have to transfer?

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    No Idea. Properties aren't transfered. They remain in personal names with the existing mortgages etc. Why are you being advised to form a partnership?

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    I think there must be a rule that in certain circumstances they are transferred as thats what J Stuart Thomson said on another thread and my accountant also said that.

    I never proceeded with my hmrc partnership and havent incorporated.

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    The tax experts on this forum are giving their general guidance for free..Best remember that and until you have engaged an expert and crossed their palm with silver you will never get a definitive answer.

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    I've already given a definitive answer. No silver crossed anyone's palm.

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    Hi Don and Joe, as mentioned earlier - no one is expecting specific advise on this forum (and not for free!), however point was that various firms are suggesting(as default answer) setting up LLP's and then pay vast amounts of money to manage these structures which may not be necessary - hence the original question.

    Many thanks for everyone's contribution.

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