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Landlords fight back: campaign against Osborne’s tax changes steps up a gear

2-minute read

Jade Wimbledon

1 June 2016

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The landlords hoping to fight Clause 24 in court have flown past another fundraising goal, rebranded their campaign, and announced that they will be holding a landlord summit in June.

They’re raising money to mount a legal challenge to the changes to rental property tax, which caused uproar in the buy-to-let community last year and are set to come into force in 2017.

The first stage of the fightback

Landlords Chris Cooper and Steve Bolton took only a few days to reach their initial target of £50,000 earlier this year via a CrowdJustice campaign.

In April they launched a second stage of fundraising, and they’ve again passed their goal of £50,000. Over £70,000 has been donated, and they’re now aiming for their stretch goal of £250,000, with a deadline of the end of June.

Recap of Clause 24

Under Clause 24 of the 2015 Finance Bill, buy-to-let investors can no longer offset their mortgage interest costs against their rental profits when calculating their tax liability.

This may mean that some buy-to-let investors end up paying tax even when they haven’t made a net profit.

Cooper and Bolton also warn that some landlords may be pushed into a higher tax bracket.

They argue that the legislation should be reversed to “bring back a level playing field in the private rented sector”.

Preparation for a judicial review

The money raised by the landlords in the first phase went towards paying for lawyers’ time for providing a detailed legal assessment and recommendations.

Omnia Strategy LLP, an international law firm run by Cherie Blair CBE QC, made their recommendations and the application for judicial review has now been submitted.

If the application is successful, this second cash injection will cover the legal costs of the judicial review.

Tenant Tax Summit

The team has also renamed their campaign ‘Tenant Tax’, with the slogan ‘Landlords fight back’.

They’re running a Tenant Tax Summit in London on the 9th June intended to “educate, inspire and mobilise action, with the aim of fighting back against the ever-worsening anti-landlord and anti-tenant taxation policies”.

Speakers include Tory peer Lord Flight and Matt Hutchinson from SpareRoom.co.uk, and tickets are available to those who pledge at least £100 to the current fundraising campaign.

How do you feel about the tax changes, and do you support the efforts of the Tenant Tax team? Tell us in the comments.

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