The Let Property Campaign has recovered a record amount of unpaid tax as a result of a crackdown on private landlords with undisclosed rental income.
Figures released this week by HM Revenue and Customs show just over £20 million has been recovered as of 31 January 2015. In October 2014, that figure stood at just £7.9 million.
The Let Property Campaign provides buy-to-let and other private landlords an opportunity to make a full and voluntary disclosure on favourable terms.
It is understood over 9,500 landlords have so far taken this opportunity to bring their tax affairs up to date.
Ian Leigh, tax partner at accountancy firm Jeffreys Henry LLP, said: “These figures should come as a warning to anyone with undisclosed rental income. With increased data gathering actives, it is less likely a case of if and more likely when HMRC catches up with you.”
HMRC now gather information from a much wider sources beyond Local Authorities, the Land Registry and the Electoral Roll. In late 2014, hundreds of estate agents were sent statutory notices to provide details of rents collected on behalf of all landlords.
“Landlords with undisclosed rental income should take this opportunity to come forward and regularise their tax affairs as soon as possible. Penalties as low as 20 percent and affordable payment plans can often be negotiated for those who make a voluntary declaration as part of the Let Property Campaign.”
Landlords who ignore this opportunity face penalties of up to 100% and in certain cases criminal prosecutions.
Earlier this year, two men from London and Essex were arrested as part of an investigation into an alleged Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and Income Tax fraud. HMRC believe the pair had failed to declare CGT on a number of properties that they had bought and sold.