We will be pleased to help anyone who would like professional advice to help get their tax affairs in order and get advice on approaching HMRC. HMRC’s guidance is here. If after reading it you believe you need help, please call us on 01702 205066 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a landlord who has letting income to declare to HMRC which you should have reported before?
Here is an extract from an announcement made by HMRC on 19th September 2013 under the heading “Tax opportunity for landlords to put house in order”:
“Landlords who rent out residential property, and fail to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about all the rental income, are being offered the chance to come forward and put their tax affairs straight – before HMRC comes to them.
HMRC estimates that up to 1.5 million landlords in this sector may be underpaying up to £500 million in UK tax every year.
Under HMRC’s new Let Property Campaign, landlords who may owe tax – whether through misunderstanding the rules or deliberate evasion – can come forward and tell HMRC about any unpaid tax on rents, and pay what they owe, including any penalties and interest due.
The campaign is open to all residential property landlords – from those that have multiple properties, to single rentals, and from specialist landlords such as student or workforce rentals, to holiday lettings. HMRC will be working with a variety of bodies over the next few months to develop tools and guidance to support landlords of all types and help them get their affairs up to date.”
The gist of this is that if you come forward to pay your tax and any back interest, HMRC will not “throw the book at you” with regard to penalties. You will not avoid them, but you should take advantage. If they catch you first you will end up paying more.
Why not ask us to help you “bite the bullet” and pay what you owe? We will make the initial approach to HMRC, act as a “buffer” between them and you, and make sure you get as good a deal as we can get for you.
Of course the ultimate responsibility is yours, but we would love to help you take the weight off your shoulders so that you do not have to worry.
Call us now on 01702 205066 or email email@example.com
We are committed to helping our clients meet properly their tax compliance obligations to HMRC, while at the same time giving advice on the deductions and reliefs available so that no one pays more tax than they should out of ignorance.
We recognise that there are some who have not yet advised HMRC of their potential liability to tax in respect let property and sales of investment property. We are happy to help people to make those steps to join the tax system and to represent them in dealing with HMRC, and where necessary to discuss with HMRC on behalf of our clients any settlement of back taxes.
The following are extracts from an HMRC press release published on 31st May 2012
“A new taskforce to tackle tax evasion on property transactions was announced on today by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
The taskforce covering East Anglia, London, Leeds, York, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Durham and Sunderland is expected to recover more than £17m from tax dodgers.
Taskforces are specialist teams that undertake intensive bursts of activity in specific high-risk trade sectors and locations in the UK. The teams will visit traders to examine their records and carry out other investigations.”
HMRC’s Mike Eland, Director General Enforcement and Compliance/or local taskforce lead, said:
“These new taskforces will bring together specialists from across HMRC to tackle tax dodgers. If you have paid all your taxes you have nothing to worry about. But deliberately evading tax can land you a heavy fine or even a criminal prosecution as well.
“This is not an empty threat – HMRC can and will track you down if you choose to break the rules.””
HMRC can level severe penalties on individuals whom they track down who have undeclared income. While we can of course help such people settle their obligations to HMRC, it is far better to make a voluntary disclosure of previously undeclared income and gains, and generally much less costly then being caught in the HMRC dragnet.
If you have a property tax issue like this, or indeed any tax issue re your investment property and buy-to-lets, why not call us on 0845 456 3583 (local rate) or 01702 205066, or email firstname.lastname@example.org?
If you are buying a property with your spouse or civil partner or even just a business partner and you intend to let it out, make sure your solicitor or conveyancer knows this and arranges the most suitable ownership status. Generally for tax reasons this will be as tenants in common. As a tenant in common you will each own a specific share of the property, which may be half, or a different specified percentage.
The other sort of joint ownership is known as a joint tenancy. In that situation each person owns an indivisible share of the whole property and cannot pass a share to another person. In the event of the death of one of the owners of a property held as joint tenants, the ownership of the property passes to the survivor, and this cannot be changed by a gift by will.
A joint tenancy may not be a good idea from the point of view of the survivor in terms of inheritance tax planning as it may be liable to significant IHT on the death of the survivor. If gifted on by the survivor it would require that person to live seven years after the gift to avoid an inheritance tax charge on death. Whether or not a property is owned by a married couple, it is a very inflexible arrangement.
The terms and types of ownership in Scotland are different from those already mentioned, which apply to England and Wales, but the same situations as above are provided for.
Having a property owned by people as tenants in common gives more flexibility. Firstly, the property doesn’t have to be owned on a fifty-fifty basis. It can be owned in whatever percentages may be agreed, such as 75:25 or 95:5. Actually several people could have a distinct share of a property. A person’s share could be willed to someone other than a joint owner if desired, or if one married person or civil partner wanted to leave the share to the other, then a will would take care of it with no difficulty. The point is that there would be room to plan who should inherit and at the same time take account of inheritance tax considerations.
A share of a property owned as tenants in common can be sold or transferred to another party. A gift to a spouse / civil partner would not attract capital gains tax, though a sale to a non-spouse would (if there were a gain) and a gift to a non-spouse / civil partner would be valued at the market rate for capital gains purposes.
You will see that the distinctions between joint tenancies and tenancies in common are important for tax purposes. A joint tenancy arrangement has much less flexibility. If you need to understand more about the nature of these distinctions you should take legal advice. In the next article we will be discussing the income tax issues relevant to the two types of ownership.