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|The Great British Property Scandal - The Tax Incentives Are There - But for How Long?|
Channel 4 is currently running a campaign over several nights called The Great British Property Scandal - in the writer's humble opinion, a worthy attempt to highlight the incongruity of demand for housing and arguably unwilling availability.
Last night's episode focused on the 'scandal' of empty flats above commercial properties: flats which have been left vacant for months or even years, at a time when millions are in need of adequate housing.
This is a tax website, so appropriate perhaps only to observe that there will undoubtedly be issues for many such properties in terms of access, and suitability both for incumbent business and prospective tenant. Nevertheless, the numbers involved cannot be ignored.
In terms of tax incentives, there are many - most notably in this context a Flat Conversion Allowance which offers:
Whilst the devil may be in the detail, it is astonishing that more use of this generous tax relief has not been made - that there are apparently so many properties or landlords who have not taken advantage of the scheme. The scheme is aimed at flats that have fallen out of residential use for 12 months or more - exactly the kind of properties which Channel 4's Phil Spencer focused on last night.
And now it is being repealed - relief will be withdrawn for expenditure from April 2013, thanks to the Office of Tax Simplification: Capital Allowances - Flat Conversion Allowances: Repeal of Relief. Because of low take - up of the relief so far.
Channel 4's current campaign is the perfect springboard to raise awareness of this and other tax reliefs available to property owners. And there is still well over a year left to make use of the Flat Conversion Allowance.
We hope very much that this relief will be used more extensively, in the months to come.
About The Author
Lee is TaxationWeb's Articles & News Editor and writes for TaxationWeb. He is a Chartered Tax Adviser with experience of advising individuals and owner-managed businesses over a broad spectrum of tax matters.
Article Added Wednesday, 07 December 2011 | 1619 Hits