HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) are targeting landlords in a new campaign, which is expected to run until March 2015. However, landlords are being offered the chance to come forward voluntarily throughout the entire period that the disclosure opportunity remains open.
Landlords that come forward voluntarily under the scheme to disclose any unpaid tax, whether through misunderstanding the rules or deliberate evasion, will receive more favourable terms and better penalties, than if they were targeted by HMRC. From this year, any landlords that have not declared all their rental income may be contacted by HMRC. Once this happens they will lose their opportunity to a make a disclosure as part of the campaign. If a landlord is targeted by HMRC, they may face penalties of up to 100% of the tax due, together with a possible criminal prosecution.
The disclosure campaign is open to all residential property landlords that, according to HMRC includes those, that have multiple properties and single rentals, as well as specialist landlords such as students or workforce rentals or holiday lets. According to HMRC, up to 1.5 million landlords may be underpaying up to £500 million in tax every year.