The Let Property Campaign was initiated in 2013. The campaign targets residential property landlords who have undeclared rental income. HMRC have been prompting those landlords to come forward and fix their tax situation. Over the years, HMRC have sent thousands of letters to landlords asking them to take the opportunity and disclose any undeclared rental income.
How Do HMRC Know Your Tax Affairs Are Not Up to Date?
HMRC utilise an ultra-modern analytical computer system which draws on information from various governmental and corporate sources along with HM Land Registry and the Tenancy Deposit Scheme. The information gathered builds a profile of each taxpayer’s total income. Additionally, letting agents have been sent notices demanding particulars of rents collected on behalf of residential property landlords.
Who Is the Let Property Campaign Open to?
The Let Property Campaign is an opportunity open to all residential property landlords with undisclosed taxes. This includes:
- those that have multiple properties
- landlords with single rentals
- specialist landlords with student or workforce rentals
- holiday lettings
- renting out a room in your main home for more than the Rent a Room Scheme threshold
- those who live abroad or intend to live abroad for more than 6 months and rent out a property in the UK, as you may still be liable to UK taxes
Who is the Let Property Campaign Not Open to?
This campaign is not open to those landlords who are letting out non-residential properties such as a:
- lock up
You also cannot use the Let Property Campaign if you want to disclose income on behalf of a company or a trust.
How Do You Benefit from the Let Property Campaign?
HMRC have taken a number of steps to encourage landlords to come forward. If you voluntarily co-operate with HMRC you can count on the best possible terms available to put your tax affairs back in order. You may even not be required to pay any penalties. This depends on individual circumstances, but it is definitely worth coming forward rather than wating to be discovered by HMRC.
What May Happen if You Do Not Disclose Your Income?
If you choose not to come forward and HMRC discover that you haven’t paid your tax they can check your history of renting and go back up to 20 years. Then, they can demand that you pay the outstanding tax plus any penalties they think are applicable. What’s more, they may even carry out a criminal investigation in serious cases.
How to Participate in the Let Property Campaign?
The steps you need to take to benefit from the campaign are:
- notify HMRC that you would like to participate
- disclose to HMRC your income, gains, tax and duties your have not previously disclosed
- make a formal offer – tell HMRC what you think your penalty should be
- pay what you owe
- if HMRC ask you for information, help them as much as you can
In exchange, HMRC may offer you reduced penalties depending on the level to which you have helped them and the accuracy of the information you have provided.
HMRC have a lot of power and they can access financial records of landlords and tenants. They are definitely able to pick up on each and every tax avoider sooner or later. Our advice to you would be to go and get professional tax advice and sort out your affairs as soon as possible. It is definitely not worth hiding as you will unquestionably be discovered and penalised.
For detailed information about the campaign and how it may affect your please click here.
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