Taxman to target landlords

Britains 700,000 landlords could be in for a shock in the next few years! The taxman is seeking powers to triple the amount of tax it raises.. and is looking to rental income and landlords pockets to assist. HM Revenue & Customs last week proposed measures to force lettings agents to hand over the names and addresses of all landlords on their books, past and present.

The move would make it easier for the relevant authorities to identify buy-to-let investors who are failing to pay tax on their rental income(that is due) or on capital gains when they sell a property. The Inland Revenue presently can only ask for lists of landlords details from agents whom they pay rent to. Changes which are still in discussions will allow for all agents having to disclose to the HMRC any fees received from any client during any previous trading period upon request.

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the Association of Residential Letting Agents (Arla), said: “There are vast numbers of landlords that use an agent to find a tenant in a ‘let-only’ arrangement. While this push by the Revenue has the potential to catch a lot more landlords out, it will also create a lot more work for agents in terms of their record-keeping.”

The government estimates that 10% of lettings agents’ clients are on an “intro-duction-only” basis. Nearly all buy-to-let landlords use a letting agent at some stage, according to Arla. Landlords- do the right thing rather than risk the Tax Man come knocking!

Daniel Barbanel – Sales and Marketing Director. Outlook Residential Property Agents

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