HMRC campaign gets £7.9m from landlords
The taxman has raised £7.9 million in additional tax as a result of a crackdown on landlords with undeclared, or under-declared, rental income.Launched 15 months ago, the HMRC’s Let Property Campaign gave buy-to-let and other private landlords an opportunity to make a full and voluntary disclosure of any tax owing, on relatively favourable terms – or else face the music if they were caught.
Around 40,000 landlords who failed to come forward voluntarily were sent a ‘promoted disclosure’. It gave them a 30 day window to make contact and regularise their tax affairs.
Those who ignored the letter risked penalties of up to 100 per cent of the unpaid liabilities (or up to 200 per cent for offshore related income), investigation and possible criminal prosecutions.
HMRC has recently started gathering information from a wider range of sources and recently hundreds of letting agents were sent statutory notices telling them to provide details of rents collected on behalf of all landlords.
Ian Leigh, a property tax specialist at the accountancy firm Jeffreys Henry LLP, says that thanks to the HMRC’s sophisticated data gathering, any landlord yet to come clean may well be caught.
“Landlords with undeclared or under disclosed rental income who have not yet been contacted by HMRC and want to regularise their affairs should take this opportunity as soon as possible.”
HMRC estimates that up to 1.5 million landlords may be underpaying tax every year.