Let Property Campaign (LPC): A Comprehensive Guide for Landlords

A Comprehensive Guide about Let Property Campaign (LCP) for Landlords

Introduction: 

As a landlord, it is crucial to ensure that your tax obligations are met and your rental income is properly declared. The Let Property Campaign (LPC), launched by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) in 2013, offers an opportunity for landlords to Disclose any previously undeclared rental income and bring their tax affairs up to date. 

The LPC was introduced in response to surveys perhaps suggesting that up to 1.5 million landlords in the UK had underpaid or failed to pay the correct amount of tax. This campaign aims to encourage voluntary disclosures, enabling landlords to take advantage of reduced penalties. 

In this comprehensive guide Blog, we will delve into the Let Property Campaign, providing you with valuable insights into who should declare their rental income, the years to disclose, the steps involved in participating in the campaign, the potential penalties for non-compliance, strategies to mitigate penalties, dealing with HMRC’s nudge letters, and how HMRC identifies landlords and property investors.
 

The Process of the Let Property Campaign (LPC): Steps to Rectify Your Tax Obligations 

Understanding the LPC is essential for every landlord who wishes to ensure compliance with tax regulations and avoid the consequences of non-disclosure. By voluntarily disclosing your rental income, you have the opportunity to rectify any past mistakes and reduce penalties that may otherwise be imposed by HMRC. 

Now that we have explored the Let Property Campaign (LPC) and its significance for landlords, it is crucial to understand the process involved in rectifying your tax obligations. By voluntarily disclosing your rental income, you can take advantage of reduced penalties and ensure compliance with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). In this section, we will outline the step-by-step process of the LPC, guiding you through the necessary actions to bring your tax affairs up to date. 

 

Consult an accountant: 

Before registering for the LPC, it is advisable to seek the guidance of an accountant. They will assist you in preparing the necessary documentation and ensuring that you are ready to make a declaration. Gathering all relevant income and expense details, including rental income, P60s, and P11Ds from employment, is crucial for accurate disclosure. 

 

Notify HMRC: 

Inform HMRC of your intention to make a declaration under the LPC. This can be done through a written notification. HMRC will respond with a reference number and grant you a 90-day window to complete the declaration and make the required payment. 

 

Disclose the underpaid tax: 

Calculate the amount of underpaid tax, along with any accrued interest, and determine the penalty you are willing to pay as part of the declaration. This involves assessing the late disclosure and the reasons behind the non-declaration of income. The level of penalties can range from 0% to 35%, depending on the timing and nature of the non-disclosure. 

 

Pay the tax owed: 

Ideally, HMRC expects payment to be made on the same day as the declaration. However, if you require additional time to settle the amount, you can discuss setting up a payment plan with HMRC. It is essential to fulfil your tax obligations promptly to avoid further penalties. 

 

Acceptance or rejection: 

Upon receiving your formal offer, HMRC will review the information provided. They will communicate their acceptance or rejection of your offer and may request additional details if necessary. The acceptance of your offer allows you to proceed with rectifying your tax affairs, while rejection may require further negotiation or clarification. 

 

Failure to Make a Disclosure: 

Choosing not to declare your rental income or participate in the LPC can have severe consequences. HMRC possesses various sources of information, such as letting agents and stamp duty records, which can reveal your rental income. If HMRC initiates an inquiry or investigation into your tax affairs, you may face higher penalties or, in extreme cases, criminal convictions. 

By following the steps outlined above and proactively addressing any previously undeclared income, you can mitigate penalties and ensure compliance with HMRC. Seek professional advice, gather the necessary documentation, and take the necessary steps to bring your tax affairs up to date, securing your financial future as a responsible landlord. 

 

Penalties Associated with the Let Property Campaign: Understanding the Consequences 

 When landlords fail to comply with the Let Property Campaign (LPC) and neglect to declare their rental income to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they may face significant penalties. In this section, we will talk about the potential penalties associated with the LPC in detail, discussing the consequences of failure to notify inaccurate returns. Understanding these penalties is crucial for landlords to ensure compliance and avoid legal and financial repercussions. 

 

Penalties for Failure to Notify: 

One form of penalty that can be imposed under the LPC is for failure to notify HMRC within the appropriate deadline. This typically applies to individuals who solely had employment income subject to PAYE tax and did not previously file a self-assessment tax return. The penalty rate for failure to notify varies depending on the behaviour of the landlord and the duration of non-disclosure. 

 

Penalties for Inaccurate Returns: 

Landlords who have already filed their tax returns but failed to report their property income may face penalties for inaccurate returns. The penalty rate for incomplete or incorrect self-assessment returns differs from that of non-filing. 

 

Calculating Penalties for the Let Property Campaign: 

Determining the penalty rate for individual landlords under the LPC involves several steps. Let’s explore the calculation process: 

 

Step 1: Calculate the Potential Lost Revenue (PLR) amount: 

The PLR is the additional tax amount payable by the landlord after considering the undisclosed property income. To calculate the PLR, identify the amount of undisclosed income and multiply it by the relevant tax rate. 

 

Step 2: Identify the ‘Behaviour’ and Determine the Penalty Range: 

HMRC considers the behaviour of the landlord when deciding the penalty rate. The behaviour can be categorized as non-deliberate, deliberate but not concealed, or deliberate and concealed. The penalty ranges differ based on whether the disclosure was prompted or unprompted. 

 

Step 3: Calculate the Reduction in Penalty for the Quality of Disclosure: 

The quality of disclosure refers to the degree of assistance provided by the landlord during HMRC’s assessment and their honesty and cooperation. A reduction in the penalty rate can be applied based on the quality of disclosure, leading to a lower penalty amount. 

 

Step 4: Determine the Final Penalty Amount: 

Multiply the final penalty percentage rate (after considering the quality of disclosure) with the PLR to calculate the penalty charged under the Let Property Campaign. 

Type of Behaviour  Unprompted Disclosure  Prompted Disclosure 
Non-Deliberate – Within 12 months  0% to 30%  10% to 30% 
Non-Deliberate – 12 months or more  10% to 30%  20% to 30% 
Deliberate             20% to 70%  35% to 70% 
Deliberate and concealed  30% to 100%  50% to 100% 

 

Table: Penalty Rates for Failure to Notify (Based on Behaviour and Disclosure Prompting) 

Types Behaviour  Unprompted Disclosure  Prompted Disclosure 
Reasonable Care  No Penalty  No Penalty 
Careless  0% to 30%  15% to 30% 
Deliberate  20% to 70%  35% to 70% 
Deliberate and Concealed  30% to 100%  50% to 100% 

Table: Penalty Rates for Inaccurate Returns (Based on Behaviour and Disclosure Prompting) 

Complying with the Let Property Campaign and accurately disclosing rental income is essential to avoid penalties imposed by HMRC. Understanding the penalty rates based on behaviour, disclosure prompting, and the quality of disclosure is crucial for landlords. By following the appropriate steps and adhering to tax obligations, landlords can mitigate penalties and ensure compliance with the LPC. Seek professional advice, calculate penalties accurately, and rectify any non-compliance to protect your financial well-being and maintain a positive relationship with HMRC. 

 

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At Lanop, I am providing my services as the Managing Partner and Tax Specialist. My expertise includes helping medium and small-scale businesses in their accountancy and legal requirements, business start-up support, strategic review, payroll system review and implementation, VAT and tax compliance to cloud accounting. I am also an expert in financial reporting, identifying and monitoring risks, strategic business development, client retention, market acquisition and deals closure by carefully planning my sales cycle. 

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