HMRC ‘fishing expedition’ targets overseas landlords and their tenants

HM Revenue & Customs has launched what appears to be a fishing expedition to find out information about investor landlords who live overseas, and their tenants.

Specialist website AccountingWeb says letters sent to landlords appear, at first sight, to be concerned with the Annual Tax on Enveloped Dwellings (ATED) and income tax on rental income, but the site claims “the letters are confusing and the information requested is wide-ranging and well beyond what is required to satisfy their stated purposes.”

The information requested also refers to trusts and elements of inheritance tax.

“The letter implies this information is required irrespective of whether the owner has correctly registered for ATED and under the Non-Resident Landlord (NRL) scheme and again goes further than is needed to establish the stated liabilities” says the site.

And it also states: “HMRC’s two-pronged approach [writing to landlords and tenants] will inevitably inconvenience a recipient of the letter that has no additional tax to pay, because tax has either been appropriately withheld, or the landlord has registered and paid tax under the Non-Resident Landlord scheme.”

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