HM Revenue and Customs have set up special teams to crack down on tax evasion by ‘buy to let’ landlords following the revelation that more than £73 million was collected by tax investigations on buy-to-let landlords in 2009.
Nearly 7,000 investigations were carried out and the average settlement exceeded £10,000. HMRC are paying particular attention to the Capital Gains Tax position of buy-to-let landlords. CGT is a complex tax liability to which which is often undeclared through ignorance of the law, but where less than honest dealings with the tax authorities, particularly as regards claiming private residence exemptions, is commonplace.
With the recent increases in the effective rate of CGT, the yield from such investigations is expected to rise.