Transferring to LAQC, should I change ownership to my company?

Johnny asks:
(updated on Wednesday, October 04th 2006)

If I had a mortgage recently held under my own name and is attached to an investment property which Ive now decided to transfer to an LAQC would you recommend me going back to the bank and change the ownership so that the company becomes the new owner/mortgagee. The other option is to take out a new mortgage under the company and buy it off myself, but I don’t think banks will accept this especially if the LAQC is new and banks look at history, However both options maybe accepted by the banks presuming the bank will still have charge/security over the property i,e owners are still liable regardless if the company has Ltd liability status. The objective Im trying to achieve is that the LAQC is able to claim interest as a tax deduction as they are the owners/mortgagee of the property which may not have been achievable if the mortgage was still held under my own name. Could you also advise as to what are sort of services or duties an accountant and lawyer will offer in this type of situation, really dont want a double up in work between the two cause it can be quite costly. Cheers Johnny

Our Experts Answer:

I am assuming you own the investment property in your personal name at this stage and your question arises because in transferring the property to the LAQC, you are unsure as to whether or not you should change the structure of the mortgage. I am also assuming you have a current valuation to establish the value at which you are transferring the property to the LAQC. Regardless of what the banks may accept, we need to consider your question from a tax point of view. Firstly, if the investment property is owned by an LAQC, yet the mortgage is owned by you, the interest on the mortgage will not be tax deductible. You will have the situation whereby you have your rental income and you can only offset against that the depreciation, insurance, rates, property management fees and so on, but not the interest. The interest belongs to you, not the company. It’s therefore highly likely that you will be in a tax paying position. The only way to get around this is for you to charge the company interest, however this adds ongoing complications of filing additional returns for resident withholding tax and there are cash flow implications. However, if you transfer the mortgage to the LAQC, you will have none of these issues for a one off conveyancing cost from your solicitor. Believe me, there is a substantial ongoing cost for you in not dealing with this properly versus trying to save some dollars up front. There should no costs from the accountant in relation to the transferring of the property to the LAQC other than preparation of accounts. If the property has been treated as a rental property under your own name, then two sets of accounts will need to be prepared, one for you and one for the LAQC, assuming no other properties are involved. For that reason, you are better off doing this at year end to save the cost of preparing two sets of accounts.


Kenina Court is a director of Acorn Solutions Limited, an accounting firm dedicated to working with clients to help them create wealth. She is an avid property investor, entrepreneur and seminar presenter on asset protection and wealth strategies.

Heartland Bank - Online 1.99
Kainga Ora - First Home Buyer Special 2.25
HSBC Premier 2.25
Westpac Special 2.29
TSB Special 2.29
BNZ - Classic 2.29
ASB Bank 2.29
ANZ Special 2.29
Kiwibank Special 2.35
ICBC 2.45
SBS Bank Special 2.49
Heartland Bank - Online 2.35
HSBC Premier 2.35
ICBC 2.45
TSB Special 2.49
SBS Bank Special 2.59
BNZ - Classic 2.59
ASB Bank 2.59
China Construction Bank Special 2.65
Kiwibank Special 2.65
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.69
AIA 2.69
HSBC Premier 2.89
SBS Bank Special 2.99
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 2.99
AIA 2.99
Westpac Special 2.99
ICBC 2.99
ASB Bank 2.99
China Construction Bank Special 2.99
BNZ - Classic 2.99
TSB Special 3.19
Kiwibank Special 3.19
Heartland Bank - Online 2.50
Resimac 3.39
Kiwibank 3.40
Kiwibank - Offset 3.40
Kiwibank Special 3.40
Bluestone 3.49
Select Home Loans 3.49
ICBC 3.69
Heartland 3.95
The Co-operative Bank - Owner Occ 4.40
The Co-operative Bank - Standard 4.40