Rental income: How to avoid being stung by HMRC

Being a landlord can be a time-consuming job, but don’t forget one of the most important tasks: telling the HMRC about your rental income.

HMRC are currently running a Let Property Campaign, urging landlords to come forward and disclose past undeclared rental earnings, in order to reduce possible penalties and the risk of criminal proceedings.

Over recent months, we’ve had a number of clients asking about letters they have received from HMRC on this subject – and you could be next.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re safe if you haven’t received anything yet – HMRC have ways of finding you.

They are using data from land registry records, local authorities and letting agents to track down the one million buy-to-let and other private landlords who are failing to declare their rental income.

And it’s little wonder that they have extended the campaign from the initial 18 months to three-four years, with an estimated £550m missing tax per year.

Most of those who owe tax are small-scale and/or accidental landlords who owe only a few hundred pounds a year and the HMRC have said that those who have made honest mistakes may be treated more leniently.

Whether you didn’t realise you were liable to pay or just haven’t got round to telling the taxman, this is an opportunity to come clean to the HMRC about any rental income before it’s too late.

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