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HMRC Leaves No Stone Unturned HMRC has been on an information gathering exercise since last October. In the beginning, they looked at the Electoral Roll and the Land Registry, but now they have taken things further. According to Mark Giddens from accountants, UHY Hacker Young: “It was not until April this year that the taxman sent out notices to letting agents in which they asked for details to be provided of everyone on their books.”
“The housing benefit payments that go direct to landlords are also being monitored more closely. This information can be obtained through the local council’s records. By investing all this time and effort they have certainty stepped up the pressure on landlords who are not declaring enough, and the letters are the next part of that.”
Tax officials are also starting to scrutinise social media in their attempts to find out information on landlords.
Confess All to HMRC The taxman estimates that there are 1.5 million landlords in the UK, but only 500,000 are registered with HMRC.
“Telling us is simple and straightforward,” HMRC says. “The message for all landlords owing tax is simple – it is better to come to us before we come to you.”
Landlords need to respond within 30 days of receiving a letter from HMRC. If you do not and information comes to light indicating tax is owed, you could end up paying penalties or facing a criminal investigation.