Lots of speculation about what might be in the budget. Here's some last minute things to consider.
- Realise gains now to access current rates of tax, bearing in mind that it is important not to lose sight of any long term investment strategy.
- Consider ownership of assets – for example transfer to a spouse who is taxed at lower rates of income.
- Interest on loan finance is currently tax deductible and will act to shelter tax at up to 50%, effectively halving the cost of borrowing – investors should consider leveraging the benefit of any existing equity to re-invest in new property which of course will not be sitting on a gain.
- Review any planned refurbishments to property that might increase gains – it may be better to divert the capital spend into acquiring a new property and realise a reduced gain on existing assets.
- Assess income from buy-to-let that was already taxed as income – investors should ensure that they are getting maximum relief for all expenditure.
- Absolutely nothing – property and share investments are typically medium to long term and any gains in the future are likely to be realised when the tax regime has changed several times and by which time capital gains tax rates may well have softened.
- Remember that hasty decisions now to save tax in the short term may be detrimental to overall investment returns in the future.
- Business status reviews – it is possible that your assets may qualify for some form of relief so investors should seek advice as to how to potentially restructure their business or portfolios now to access such reliefs in the future.
Of course the ground rules may change completely in two weeks time.