News that the taxman is set to target buy to let landlords in some areas of the country will send shivers up the spine of some owners who thought they could get away with failing to declare income or exaggerating their expenses.
HMRC reckons it can recover something like £17m from buy to let landlords in East Anglia, London, Leeds, York, Leicester, Nottingham, Lincoln, Durham and Sunderland.

HMRC created twelve new taskforces in 2011/12 and will add another thirty in 2012/13. These are teams of specialists who concentrate on what the Revenue considers to be high-risk trades and areas of the country.

It is not just property owners who have been targeted; taxi firms, market traders and restaurants are also under the microscope. Landlord property insurance clients tend to be careful people who have shopped around for their property insurance and are aware of the importance of proper record keeping. However some landlords, especially those who are new to the business are unaware of the strict rules about the expenses you can claim against your rental income. Others think they can get away with concealing income altogether. A good accountant need not cost too much and could be the best investment a buy to let landlord can make. It is important to make sure the firm you are using is a specialist in this area- ask around other landlords for a personal recommendation.

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