Question and Answer Section

Newsletter issue - December 2010.

Q. My family has invested in rental properties over a number of years. Some properties are held in my name alone, others are owned jointly with my sister. The properties held with my sister have made losses in the last year. Can I set those losses against the profits made on letting the properties held in my own name?

A. Yes you can. All your UK property interests are treated as one property business. So the net income from your own properties is amalgamated with your share of income and expenses from the jointly held properties, and the total needs to be reported on the property pages of your tax return. The Taxman will not treat jointly held let properties as being a partnership, unless the letting of the property is ancillary to a proper trading business.

Q. I have a holiday cottage that just managed to qualify as furnished holiday lettings as it was let for 70 days in 2010/11. How will it be taxed in 2011/12 and what tax relief will I get for any loss I make on that property?

A. The Government is expected to announce changes to the way profits and losses from furnished holiday lettings are taxed, with effect from 6 April 2011. The proposals include increasing the number of days the property must be let per year from 70 to 140. Unless you manage to let your holiday cottage for the new number of qualifying days (expected to be 140) in 2011/12, it will be taxed just like any other let property. This means any loss you make on the letting can only be carried forward and set against a profit you make from your lettings business in the future.

Q. My company is planning to get a new Freelander car (emissions 185g/km). It will keep the car for three years and then trade it in. What tax allowances will the company get for the cost of the car over those three years?

A. As the vehicle has high emissions the full cost of the car must be allocated to the special rate pool for capital allowances. Currently 10% of the balance of the special rate pool is set against the company's profits for tax purposes each year. However, from April 2012 only 8% of the balance in the special rate pool will be tax allowable. When the car is traded in after three years the trade-in value will be deducted from the balance on the special rate pool. However, if the company makes a loss on the car that loss cannot be deducted from the company's profits for the year.

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