How to relieve the housing crisis

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I was chatting to my accountant recently and we were discussing the rumours surrounding the changes to entrepreneur’s relief for small businesses.

This got me thinking and I asked him why my clients cannot claim it for their buy to lets. After all, if you buy a property with the sole intention of never living in it, letting it out to generate an income to cover your costs and make a profit, how is that different to providing mortgage advice, getting paid for it, making a profit?

When I come to sell my mortgage business I will qualify for entrepreneur’s relief and pay just 10 per cent tax on my gain – I have said many times before that I am an eternal optimist. Why then should I not pay 10 per cent tax when I sell my buy-to-lets?

They are commercial entities, run as standalone businesses and designed to make a profit for the owners on an annual basis and upon realisation.

It would take a very brave accountant to allow me to claim this – does anybody know one?

Seriously though, just imagine what an impact it would have if we could pay just 10 per cent tax for having buy-to-lets?

This would encourage investors to take their cash from the banks and invest it in property. The empty houses and flats would be snapped up in this new tax efficient environment. Developers would be inspired to complete old developments and start new ones.

And most importantly a huge dent would be made in the housing crisis that sees so many people in B&Bs due to the lack of available homes.

If not, we could ask for them to be included in self invested pension plans again as that was very popular!