HMRC Warns Again On Second Property Sales
02 August 2013
Posted by: Author: Amanda Banks
Author: Amanda Banks
HM Revenue and Customs has issued a reminder about a disclosure opportunity in relation to profit from the sale of second homes, claiming that "hundreds of people" have come forward in the last few months as a result of an HMRC campaign on the issue.
HMRC says that from September 6, it will be taking a "much closer look" at people who have sold properties other than their main home, but who appear to have paid no Capital Gains Tax, using information on property sales in the UK and abroad, and consulting a database of all properties liable for Stamp Duty Land Tax.
The tax body specifies that holiday homes and rented-out properties are included, and that an exemption for a main home may not apply if it has not been the only home or main residence for some time, if the property has been used for business or letting, or if part of the garden has been sold.
The disclosure opportunity lasts until August 9, with payment to be made by September 6. Those who come forward will receive what HMRC calls "the best possible terms," and any penalty owed will be lower than otherwise. HMRC warns that for those who are approached later, "even criminal prosecution" may follow.
Marian Wilson, Head of HMRC Campaigns, was quoted as saying that anyone who may be unsure should consult a "simple" decision tree on the HMRC website.
According to HMRC, its targeted campaigns have so far raised GBP547 million from voluntary disclosures, and nearly GBP140 million from follow-up activity, including 20,000 completed investigations. There have also been seven criminal convictions, including prison sentences.