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Harries Watkins Jones are a Bridgend and Pontypridd (South Wales) based firm of Chartered Accountants, tax and business advisers. They pride themselves in providing high levels of service. With each and every new client, they never assume their requirements but seek to tailor their services to their individual needs.Their goal is to build a strong and sustainable working business relationship with each client and to offer them real solutions to their business problems.

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Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Property Development Issues

There are a wide range of tax issues to consider when developing properties. Here we touch on just a few of them...

- Your own home is normally free of capital gains tax when you sell it, but this tax exemption does not apply if you purchase a property with the intention of developing it and turning a profit. In this case the profit you make could be subject to income tax (at rates of up to 50%) rather than capital gains tax (18% or 28%), as the Taxman will want to view the development activity as a trade. It is very rare that the Taxman succeeds in proving the development of a single property is a trade, but if you make a habit of developing and selling on properties, while claiming capital gains exemption, you could lay yourself open to a tax investigation.

- Where your property includes a significant amount of land, the profit attributed to the land in excess of half a hectare will normally be subject to capital gains tax. This half-hectare limit can be stretched in circumstances where the land and any accompanying outbuildings are closely related to the main residential building.

- When purchasing a run-down property to develop you must think about the cost of VAT. If you are not a VAT registered builder you normally can't reclaim the VAT on the development costs. However there is a scheme that allows DIY builders to reclaim VAT when a non-residential building is being converted into a home. There are a number of other conditions that must be met for this DIY builders scheme to apply.

- VAT may be charged at the lower rate of 5% on certain building services when the building has been empty for at least two years, or the development changes the number of dwellings in the building. The rules that allow this lower rate of VAT to apply are very complicated so you need to take advice before you start the development project.

If you are looking at property development it is important to get advice before proceeding.
Why Stamp Duty Form Changes?
Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) forms have changed, but why?

The forms used to report Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) due on a purchase of UK land and property are changing. The lead purchaser must now provide an identity number such as NI number and date of birth. Where the purchaser is a company the company's tax reference number (UTR) or VAT registration number should be used. Partnerships should use their UTR or VAT registration number.

If the lead purchaser does not have any of the above reference numbers, as they are not registered for tax in the UK, they should use another unique reference number such as passport number, and state the country of issue of the document.

The new forms have been available since 11 April 2011, and will become compulsory from 3 July 2011. The online filing system for SDLT will incorporate the changes from 3 July.

The Taxman may well be collecting the additional information for a reason, perhaps to cross-reference to taxpayers files!


For more useful information visit the Harries Watkins Jones website - Accountants Bridgend.

The author does not guarantee the accuracy of any information provided in this article and recommends that you do not take any action, whatsoever, based on the information provided. By the fullest extent permitted by law, the author does not accept any responsibility for any actions you may or may not take based on information contained in this article. This article contains general information and is not a substitute for specific independent professional advice. In addition it is emphasised that much of the information provided in this article is time sensitive and information contained within it may be out of date. 

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