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Tax on buy to lets and landlords - tell the government what should change

The independent Office for Tax Simplification wants to know how it can make landlords’ tax issues simpler - and it’s started a consultation exercise.

Today, the OTS has published an online survey and Call for Evidence to seek views about how the taxation of property income could be simplified.

The OTS wants to hear directly from individual landlords and small businesses as well as professional advisers and representative bodies about which aspects of property income taxation are particularly complex and hard to get right, and to hear any suggestions for improvements.


The survey will enable the OTS to hear directly from those with personal experience in this area. It is open now and will be available until June 5. 

“HMRC data shows that over two million individuals receive property rental income and many more now own property companies. For some people this may be a business, for others an investment and for some almost an accidental activity as they rent out their home as they move” says  OTS Tax Director Bill Dodwell.

He con tinues: “The Office of Tax Simplification is conducting a review of property income. How easy is it to understand the rules and report the right amount of income and qualifying expenses to HMRC. Could there be simpler rules? 

“Could intermediaries, such as letting agents or rental platforms play a role in helping landlords report?  

“Please fill in our survey, whether you own one or more buy to let properties, have furnished holiday lets or host lodgers in your home.”


The OTS was set up in 2010 as an independent advisory service for the government - it is not part of HMRC, nor does it have party political significance. However, it is actively used by government to analyse fiscal issues, especially as they directly affect members of the public.

The survey will appear later today on the OTS website.

Want to comment on this story? If so...if any post is considered to victimise, harass, degrade or intimidate an individual or group of individuals on any basis, then the post may be deleted and the individual immediately banned from posting in future.

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    link to the survey doesn't appear to work

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    It would be much simpler if they allowed debt costs as an allowable expense as it is in every other business...

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    "For some people this may be a business"

    Yes, exactly, so treat us as such.

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    Scrap Digital Tax and the proposed quarterly reporting do you think we have nothing to do and already burdened into the ground with regulatory requirements, you could charge us 18% C/gains tax like everyone else instead of the special rate for LL’s only of 28%, that would be simple enough.

  •  G romit

    Scrap sec.24


    Indeed!! SCRAP SECTION 24. In this dubious but so called fair society treat all businesses the same and not ring fence and punish one sector.

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    The OTS are just looking for additional means to extract more tax out of landlords - I don't trust them at all!

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    This is a data and intelligence collection excercise so they can work out how to be more effective at sticking their hand in your pocket. Don't participate and don't give them anything.

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    We all know that if they were able to simplify things, it would be done in a way that benefits HMRC financially rather than us.

    They are not Independent - they are funded by the government. A quick look on Wikipedia has, among other things, the following paragraph:

    “The OTS submitted 2 reports to the Chancellor in March 2011. These are the Review of Tax Reliefs[9] and the Review of Small Business Taxation.[10] The Chancellor accepted some of the recommendations in his Budget announcement where he agreed to abolish 43 reliefs”

    Make of that what you will.

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    Sometimes these consultations do prevent the worst excesses.

    Glasgow City Council held one a few years ago as they wanted to extend licensing but the overwhelming response pointing out the potentially unintended consequences and questioning their assumptions led to them dropping all plans to increase the use and scope of licensing in the PRS.

    I wouldn't ignore it otherwise you can't complain about the outcome, like not voting.

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    Agree on the above comments that as a minimum SECTION 24 must be scrapped for any chance that additional costs and possible losses are not passed on to tenants eventually. For most that are affected by Section 24 we are paying required taxes as a direct result of Finance EXPENSES. Calling it tax relief is nonsense.

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    So when we go digital will the government provide free software or will I have to subscribe to a software provider? All associated costs will be passed on to our tenants.


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