HMRC have launched 12 task forces aimed at targeting landlords with 3 or more properties in 2011/12 and more in 2012/13. The buy-to-let taskforce will specifically target tax evasion among buy-to-let landlords who own or rent out more than three properties.
HMRC taskforces form part of the government's aim to raise an additional £7bn a year by 2014/15 through tackling tax evasion, avoidance and fraud. Mike Wells director of risk and intelligence at HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), is quite clear –“ if you deliberately seek to evade tax we can and will track you down and you'll face not only a heavy fine, but possibly a criminal prosecution as well."
The Task forces will gain information from Banks Mortgage applications Land registry Electoral rolls Council tax records Letting agents Rumour also has it the Deposit Scheme implemented in April 2006 was part of collecting data on landlords as the start of the big brother affect. It is thought the HMRC have identified 80,000 landlords who may have claimed too much tax relief or who have failed to declare all the rent received. Property investors who sold homes several years ago have also been pinpointed as well as overseas landlords.