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Get the latest news and tips about mortgage finance and the property market. Scott Miller, mortgage broker from Advanced Mortgage Solutions comments on housing and lending.

Budget 2010

Published by Scott Miller on Saturday, May 22, 2010 in


There is a good chance you will be thinking - How does the 2010 budget affect me?

In this newsletter I will cover off some of the affects Thursday's budget will have in relation to owning property, both for owner occupiers and for investment property portfolio owners.

The Budget and what does it mean for property owners?

Owner Occupiers:

Basically not a lot has changed if you own your own home. Because home owners are exempt from claiming things like depreciation on their homes, losses against personal income, and don't usually derive an income from their home, most of the changes will not influence your day to day expenses (excluding things like the increase in GST etc).

The IRD still have their task force looking into owners who have placed their ‘principle place of residence’ (their own home) in an LAQC and are claiming loses as an expenses. This is illegal and the IRD/Government is taking this form of tax evasion very seriously. If you find yourself in this position I recommend you seek advice from an accountant immediately - putting one's head in the sand will not make it go away.

Investment Property:

In contrast there have been a number of changes (as expected) for those of us who own an investment property portfolio. However these changes are less dramatic than most of the pre-budget hype, speculation, and downright irresponsible dribble that was being circulated. So let’s cover of the main facts.

1)Depreciation on buildings has been removed unless the building’s life expectancy from new is less than 50 years. A list of such buildings is being made available and an application process for people who believe they fall under this criteria is being established. Personally when talking about residential property I cannot think of a reason where I would want to construct a property that would only last for 50 years. Its resale value for one would not be particularly high. There may be areas where sleep outs or minor dwellings are popular allowing for this kind of building and subsequent depreciation may take place?

2) One of the more annoying ‘the world is coming to an end’ forecasts around the changes to take place in the 2010 budget included ring fencing of losses within an LAQC. This would have meant that any losses incurred through owning a negatively geared property portfolio held in a LAQC could no longer be offset against your personal income tax. Although there has been some suggested changes (this is not law yet and is subject to change) to LAQC’s for the majority of us it will have no effect. This is due to the lenders of New Zealand making it compulsory for the directors of an LAQC to give personal guarantees for the loan the LAQC is being structured over.

 

The following is from Matthew Gilligan of Gilligan Rowe and Associates - one of New Zealand’s leading property accounting firms.


 Paragraph 5.11 states a member's interest (in the proposed new LAQC regime) would extend to include in the definition of equity the share of any debt guaranteed by the shareholder.

This means that if you are a guarantor, you get to claim losses up to the extent of your equity invested PLUS your guarantee. As shareholders will guarantee (most of the time) all of the debt, the structure will get full flow through of losses up to

100% of the value of the amount of debt they have guaranteed, or cash injected - the higher of the two.

 Therefore effectively existing LAQC users will get the benefit of losses flowing through, provided they are guarantors to the debt.

 Remember this is all subject to submission and not law yet.

The other major change regarding LAQC’s is around the tax paid when an LAQC starts making a profit. At present if you make a profit in an LAQC the maximum tax rate you will incur is 30% (company tax rate). However proposed changes will see this rate change to match your personal tax rate. So if you (under the new tax rate affective in October) earn $70,000.00+ you will be taxed at 33% and so will your profits from your LAQC. This is seen as making the tax system more fare and will limit tax avoidance through LAQC structures.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or thoughts on what I have written above.


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