Under a proposed new scheme aimed at reducing rental fraud, letting agents and property websites would collect and report tax on behalf of landlords.
This proposal has been met with firm opposition by finance professionals and landlords. It has also raised many questions about data privacy and who would be liable in the case of any mistakes.
The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) have also expressed their opposition, stating that “the idea had a “theoretical attraction” but that a range of significant practical barriers made such an approach unlikely when an individual’s tax circumstances and expenses were factored in.”
The proposed scheme was considered during the Office of Tax Simplification’s (OTS) review of property income back in 2016, however, the research wasn’t published until March 2022.
Unless significant guidance on the technicalities of the scheme is published, it is unlikely to be implemented. However, it could be brought in as a voluntary scheme and be loosely based on the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme (NRLS), whereby basic rate tax (currently 20%) is withheld by the letting agent or tenant and then paid over to HMRC. The landlord then enters the tax withheld on their Self Assessment Tax Return to receive a deduction against their tax liability.