UK Tax Office Crackdown on Expats who Don’t Pay Tax

The UK Tax Office is increasing efforts to identify British expats living overseas who own buy-to-let property in the UK or who have sold their properties without paying appropriate levels of tax to the UK government.

Expatriates who own rental property in the UK and those who have recently sold a home but who have yet to pay duty on the sale are being warned to contact the tax office and settle their tax bills or face serious consequences. The tax office have publicly announced that they will be making concerted efforts to identify and track down expat landlords who are not paying the taxes they owe as a result of renting UK property or from the sale of property.

Expatriates who own properties in the UK have until September 6th 2013 to get up-to-date with their tax payments via Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs’ “Property Sales Campaign,” which will provide expat investors with a chance to disclose and pay any outstanding tax bills without prosecution. However, once this deadline has passed, specialist taxforces from the tax office will criminally investigate any expats who are believed to have actively avoided paying tax in the UK.

Discussing the initiative, Mark Giddens, head of private client services at UHY Hacker Young commented: “Buy-to-let investors need to be aware of HMRC’s increasing concern about tax evasion by landlords. Their actions to date show that they are quite capable of matching Land Registry records and data from letting agents with taxpayer files and picking out discrepancies.

“As buy-to-let increases in popularity, there is inevitably more for HMRC to investigate. Some might simply fail to understand what their liabilities are and how to calculate them properly; others might think that they will be below HMRC’s radar.”

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