The scrutiny of landlords has been stepped up a few notches by the tax man, as HMRC seeks to claim £500m in unpaid taxes from tens of thousands of buy-to-let investors. Forty-thousand letters are to be sent to landlords over the next four months to give the recipient a choice between coming clean or facing a fine and a possible criminal investigation.
Landlords will be allowed a 30-day window to reply before action is taken.
HMRC has brought in additional manpower in recent months to track down the tens of thousands of landlords they believe are paying little or no tax and capital gains on second properties, leaving no stone unturned – from monitoring housing benefit payments to scouring social media, the tax man means business.
There are less than 500,000 taxpayers registered with HMRC as owning second properties, more than a million fewer than they believe to be the true number of landlords.
The message from the tax office was spelled out clearly by a spokesman: “It is better to come to us before we come to you.”
Back to news