THE TAXMAN COMETH
The holiday lets move relates to properties in England which the owner declares are intended to be made available to let 140 days in the coming year, making them liable for business rates rather than council tax. In about 96% of cases, they have such a low rateable value that they qualify for small business rates relief which means they pay nothing at all.
There is currently no requirement for checks to verify that the properties are actually commercially rented out.
Following a consultation launched in 2018, the government said it would now legislate to tighten the rules. Also included in the series of consultations were proposals to cut down on inheritance tax red tape, reducing the paperwork families need to fill out. The government also published an interim report on its review of the business rates system – long the subject of calls for change from the retail sector – detailing responses from some firms. But a final report will not be published until the autumn.
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