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A barely disguised warning to landlords not to under-declare their tax liabilities was included in a parliamentary answer given by Jesse Norman, Financial Secretary to the Treasury.
Labour MP and shadow spokesperson Charlotte Nicols asked Norman if he would give the Revenue ‘the resources to discover and tax undeclared private landlords rather than rely on a voluntary scheme of disclosure’.
The Revenue does not rely on voluntary disclosure from landlords, said Norman. It uses ‘a range of data and approaches to identify landlords with undeclared rental income’.
And, ‘where landlords do not come forward to declare their rental income, after being prompted, HMRC take further steps including opening formal compliance interventions where necessary’, he said.
The ‘voluntary disclosure’ referred to by was the HMRC’s Let Property Campaign. This, said Norman, ‘has prompted approximately 58,000 additional disclosures and raised an estimated £254m in additional compliance yield for the Exchequer.
The Let Property Campaign, says the Revenue, ‘is an opportunity for landlords who owe tax from letting out residential property to get up to date with their tax affairs’. Guidance on the workings of the campaign is available online.