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Can I Get Deductions for the Interest on a Mortgage?

I would like to set up a company where I am a shareholder (not more than 5%). The company will enter into an option with me to purchase properties (option life is not more than 20 years). The option contract will allow the company to receive rental income on the properties but as I intend to have the mortgages in my name, will I be eligible to the deductions on the interest on the mortgage? 

As the company will not have money initially, the premium on the option will be a token amount. Is this acceptable to the revenue authorities? Finally, any property related expenses will be borne by the company i.e. as the company has the right to receive the income under the option contract, it will also have the obligations to maintain the property, etc.

Arthur Weller Replies:
When a company purchases a property from you, whether under an option agreement or otherwise, the property thereafter belongs to the company, and if the mortgages are in your name then it is not possible for the company to get deductions for the interest on the mortgage.

In answer to your second questions, it should be acceptable to HMRC to pay a token amount for the option because when the option is eventually exercised, the price paid for the option is incorporated with that of the property to form a single transaction, both as regards the seller and the buyer.

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