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Court date set for potential judicial review of landlord tax relief

Landlords fighting to prevent punitive tax relief changes for buy-to-let landlords being introduced next year will get their day in court, after it was announced that they will have their hearing in early October.

The campaign group Axe the Tenant Tax, led by landlords Chris Cooper and Steve Bolton, have been seeking a judicial review over the government’s changes to tax relief ever since the government announced its contentious decision to remove finance costs for individual landlords.

The existing rules that permit landlords to offset all of their mortgage interest against tax will, from next year, be phased out, and by April 2020, once they have been withdrawn altogether, it is likely that higher-rate tax payers will only receive 50% of the relief that they currently get.

The curb on the amount of tax that landlords can claim back on their property investments, which was announced by now former chancellor George Osborne in the Budget last summer, could mean buying and renting out property is no longer viable for many buy-to-let landlords.

Attempts to reclassify mortgage interest as anything other than a normal business expense could have a disastrous impact on the buy-to-let sector, with higher expenses passed on to tenants.

According to Treasury forecasts, the tax relief changes will net it close to £1bn a year by 2021.

A hearing will take place at the Royal Courts of Justice on Thursday 6 October, later than expected.

In a statement the campaign group Axe the Tenant Tax said HM Revenue and Customs had requested more time so their lawyers would be available.

It said: “We have been told not to read anything negative into the delay to our court date – it is quite a normal occurrence and, if anything, the extra time allocated we hope will work in our favour.”

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