A London landlord has been told to pay over £200,000 and given a two year suspended jail sentence for undeclared rental income.
The man, from Teddington, pleaded guilty to tax evasion at Wimbledon Magistrates Court. The Kingston Crown Court also sentenced him to 200 hours of community work.
The landlord was found to have failed to declare income for three consecutive years from the 2008-9 tax year. He also failed to inform HMRC that he was a company director.
The convicted man ran two property companies and owns 17 properties across the country. He also owns racehorses and is a director of a betting syndicate.
HRMC estimates that the man evaded a total of £281,000 in tax.
The conviction follows a series of crackdowns by HMRC on undeclared buy-to-let income. In 2015, the taxman secured record capital gains receipts thanks to investigations in the private rented sector, while in 2013 thousands of landlords received letters from the Revenue asking for further details of their rental and income positions.
Meanwhile landlords are caught in a storm of new legislation that is already threatening to take the bottom out of the buy-to-let market. In April last year the government announced that it would increase stamp duty on second properties, including those in the private rented sector. Separately, new rules imposed by the Bank of England could significantly reduce prospective landlords’ borrowing power.
However, a recent survey by Simply Business suggests that landlords are feeling confident about the coming year, by a slim majority.
Some 56 per cent of respondents said they are positive about buy-to-let in 2017, on the back of climbing rents in some parts of the country and record low mortgage rates.
Have you noticed the changes in HMRC? Let us know in the comments
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