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Newsletter issue - April 2014

In our March newsletter we told you about HMRC's let property campaign (LPC) which aims to nudge landlords into confessing undeclared rental income. We also warned that HMRC is actively looking for errant landlords. We now know how those landlords will be found.

HMRC is writing to letting agents in the UK, asking them to provide details of the properties they have let in 2012/13, including the amount collected per property and the addresses of the let property and the landlord. The letting agent is given just 60 days to provide the information, or face a penalty of £300, and further penalties of £60 per day for additional delays.

The agent also can't refuse to provide its customers' details on the grounds that such personal information is protected by Data Protection Act 1998, as the tax law overrules the Data Protection Act in these circumstances.

If you have received such a request from HMRC we can help you compile the information in the form demanded - which must be on a pre-defined spreadsheet.

If you think your overseas property will never be found by the Taxman, think again. HMRC is using its "connect" programme to search holiday rental websites for UK residents who are letting overseas properties. If you live in the UK your overseas rents should be declared in the UK, as well as to the local tax authorities. Even if you make no profit from the property, you still need to show all the income and expenses on your tax return.