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Annonymously reporting local landlords for tax evasion...mainly cus i hate them but also for the lolz #KickEmWhileTheyreDown


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https://www.gov.uk/report-an-unregistered-trader-or-business


A quick back story, live in an area which is terraced housing and where I am is predomninatly rental,  mixture of university students and scummy wasters. Always had on-going issues with particualy with noise and anti-social behavior, sometimes truly horrendous.

Meanwhile the scumlords couldnt give a flying fig obviously, all theyre concerend about is the profit, which...and this is the most irratating thing, is almost certainly is not being declared as it should to the taxman. So not only are they ruiung neighbourhoods, and pushing the pricces for us wanting to buy, they're most likely doing it without declaring it as income.  No wonder theyre all so fudging smug! And round here they actually are the archetypal arrogant tossers who drive pimped out white BMW X5s!

Anyway....With the current predicament of whats coming to ladlords i figured it's only fair we all add to their misery! Because we love love "love" to kick BTL scum whilst they're down!

Imagine it...corona, falling voids, empty properties...and then the tax come is also calling!!! I feel all giddy just thinking about it!

And I assume it would mean more properties coming to market for sale if more scumlords were caught for this?

FYI I already did this for one property that luckily was owned by someone who works off of the TV, so didnt even need to look on the land registy to get a name - result! Not sure what the outcome was though.

But yeah as I was saying, chances are very likely these vermin are not decalring the appropriate tax/income from their BTL(s) and/or dont have BTL mortages. If they do get a call from the tax man I can just imaging the soiling of pants...so.many.lolz

Now if the're all above board they have absolutley nothing to worry and won't get contacted, and they can go back to soiling their pants about voids and falling property prices.

So what I wondered was:

1) Is the land registry the only way of obtaining info about who owns a property? i.e. is there a free way that doesnt involve rummaging through bins? (Whilst its only a few quid theres quite a few house i want to report!)

2) How do you find out if someone has a residential mortage vs a BTL mortgage? Who do you report this to if they dont have a BTL mortage

3) Would it look suspect if a bunch of properties were reported to the tax office all in the same vicinity at the same time?

4)Any other suggestions to #KickEmWhileTheyreDown? Or any suggestions to do the above more efficiently?

I guess my masterplan would work equally well for AirBnB scum too? I.e. both in terms of declaring all appropriate tax/income and of mortgage type?


Anyway the other reason I wanted to write is to encourage others to do this, especially if they live near rented properites where the tenants are as scummy as their scumlords. Plus especially as we should all be doing something constructive during the lockdown...theres only so many Joe Wicks workouts you can do right?

 

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Edited by highcontrast
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Pretty sure HMRC have bulk access to Land Registry and Rightmove / Open rent. Cross referencing these against Tax Returns must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

If anyone from HMRC is reading and doesn't have this, I'll do it gratis.

 

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When things are normal  the powers that be really do not give a toss about tax evasion, welfare cheats etc, and they definitely won't care now. My experience is they will target one person now and again and put it out in the media that they have their eye on you, but apart from that nothing will be done to chase these people. I don't know if you can ever remember the self cert days, 100,000's of those mortgages could so easily have been cross referenced with tax self assessment and caught so many of them out, but why do something that is going to hurt rising house prices.

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4 minutes ago, crumblingcon said:

When things are normal  the powers that be really do not give a toss about tax evasion, welfare cheats etc, and they definitely won't care now. My experience is they will target one person now and again and put it out in the media that they have their eye on you, but apart from that nothing will be done to chase these people. I don't know if you can ever remember the self cert days, 100,000's of those mortgages could so easily have been cross referenced with tax self assessment and caught so many of them out, but why do something that is going to hurt rising house prices.

If HMRC get too efficient the right wing press wail on 'Red Tape' and 'Petty Bureaucrats' with some sob story.

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2 hours ago, msi said:

Pretty sure HMRC have bulk access to Land Registry and Rightmove / Open rent. Cross referencing these against Tax Returns must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

Given the employment of people to chase this would produce a very quick ROI, I've wondered why HMRC hasn't massively ramped up to pick this obvious 'low hanging fruit' (listen to me - I should work for McKinsey!)

...but then I remember how much of our economy is now utterly dependent on rentier/speculator activity and of course the answer is clear.

Truth is IMO - they just don't want to for fear of triggering a mass exit by BTLers and the consequent politically inexpedient knock-on effects to the economy. I expect senior HMRC officials have had a a 'quiet chat' with  mandarins to tell them to 'go easy on it, old boy'.

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A post from propertytribes in 2018, maybe HRMC are/were more concerened with this than we think?

Also, more interestingly, just one example of the tax dodging/not declaring of rental income:

https://www.propertytribes.com/opinion-hmrc-will-target-landlords-further-t-127635886.html

"...Priscilla 13 Aug 2018 at 13:08
You are absolutely correct, Vanessa. Our accountant, advised us last week, that a lady phoned him to say, that, HMRC had sent her a letter to say, that you have 10 properties, and we have no account of that!!!

So she is extremely worried, HMRC, also advised her, that she had them for 10 years too.  She has never paid tax on this income.  Also, our accountant advised us that, HMRC have ways to find out if you own more than one property..............and are going for it........"

10 properties, rented out for 10 effin years!! Effin landlord scum!

 

And futher down that thread, a post from BTL poster girl Vanessa Warwick

"...Vanessa Warwick 15 Aug 2018 at 08:15
From Accounting Web - 7th August 2018

HMRC has won a case against two landlords who challenged HMRC when asked to produce evidence concerning their undeclared rental income.

HMRC issued information notices to two landlords who hadn’t declared income from their let properties.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/personal-tax/landlords-fail-to-overturn-hmrcs-information-notices

..."

Surely giving the HMRC a helping hand can't hurt?

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1 hour ago, highcontrast said:

A post from propertytribes in 2018, maybe HRMC are/were more concerened with this than we think?

Also, more interestingly, just one example of the tax dodging/not declaring of rental income:

https://www.propertytribes.com/opinion-hmrc-will-target-landlords-further-t-127635886.html

"...Priscilla 13 Aug 2018 at 13:08
You are absolutely correct, Vanessa. Our accountant, advised us last week, that a lady phoned him to say, that, HMRC had sent her a letter to say, that you have 10 properties, and we have no account of that!!!

So she is extremely worried, HMRC, also advised her, that she had them for 10 years too.  She has never paid tax on this income.  Also, our accountant advised us that, HMRC have ways to find out if you own more than one property..............and are going for it........"

10 properties, rented out for 10 effin years!! Effin landlord scum!

 

And futher down that thread, a post from BTL poster girl Vanessa Warwick

"...Vanessa Warwick 15 Aug 2018 at 08:15
From Accounting Web - 7th August 2018

HMRC has won a case against two landlords who challenged HMRC when asked to produce evidence concerning their undeclared rental income.

HMRC issued information notices to two landlords who hadn’t declared income from their let properties.

https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/tax/personal-tax/landlords-fail-to-overturn-hmrcs-information-notices

..."

Surely giving the HMRC a helping hand can't hurt?

HMRC already have far more information from computer systens than they are resoursed to follow up. Plus they get hundreds of calks a day from people are claiming others haven't paid tax most are malicious/false  so they are treated as very low priotity.

Their most effective tax raising weapon is the brown evelope reminding people  of their responsibilities and suggesting that now would be a good time to ensure they are providing full and accurate information.

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When the bill for the bailouts comes, I can see HMRC being given free run to chase this money down.  Going after Mr and Mrs BTL for 10 years rental tax will have limited fallout. So long as they avoid anyone with a massive portfolio (and political connections), they would profit from an automated 'settle for 80% and we'll forget about it' approach.

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5 hours ago, msi said:

Pretty sure HMRC have bulk access to Land Registry and Rightmove / Open rent. Cross referencing these against Tax Returns must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

If anyone from HMRC is reading and doesn't have this, I'll do it gratis.

 

Opinion Mortgages

Tax-dodging landlords find the net is closing

Buy-to-let evasion could be costing the Treasury £150m, but HMRC is fighting back

Merryn Somerset Webb

August 18 2017


The third was all about data. Since 2011, HMRC has been using a computer system called Connect to catch tax dodgers by sifting through huge amounts of seemingly unrelated data (bank and PayPal accounts, credit card data, property transactions, company ownership records and names and addresses from Airbnb, for example). In something of a first for a government computer system, this works pretty well. The last consultation was about extending HMRC’s data-gathering powers to money services businesses (currency exchange and the like).


The full article here.

https://www.ft.com/content/9efa9f2a-833a-11e7-a4ce-15b2513cb3ff

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1 hour ago, Take Me Back To London! said:
Opinion Mortgages

Tax-dodging landlords find the net is closing

Buy-to-let evasion could be costing the Treasury £150m, but HMRC is fighting back

Merryn Somerset Webb

August 18 2017


The third was all about data. Since 2011, HMRC has been using a computer system called Connect to catch tax dodgers by sifting through huge amounts of seemingly unrelated data (bank and PayPal accounts, credit card data, property transactions, company ownership records and names and addresses from Airbnb, for example). In something of a first for a government computer system, this works pretty well. The last consultation was about extending HMRC’s data-gathering powers to money services businesses (currency exchange and the like).


The full article here.

https://www.ft.com/content/9efa9f2a-833a-11e7-a4ce-15b2513cb3ff

Could be costing £150m pa? 

If that's anything like true it's peanuts as far as the HMRC are concerned. 

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Just now, Confusion of VIs said:

Could be costing £150m pa? 

If that's anything like true it's peanuts as far as the HMRC are concerned. 

The £150 million is a joke figure.

The article did put forward other larger estimates of tax undeclared by landlords.

Quote

A 2014 study by the Institute of Public Policy Research came up with a number of £180m for London alone and one of the UK’s more extreme economists has put the national sum at £1bn.

https://www.ft.com/content/9efa9f2a-833a-11e7-a4ce-15b2513cb3ff

 

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12 hours ago, Take Me Back To London! said:

huge amounts of seemingly unrelated data (bank and PayPal accounts, credit card data, property transactions, company ownership records and names and addresses from Airbnb, for example)

What has happened to journalism?

10 hours ago, Take Me Back To London! said:

extreme economists

These people are like religious nuts. Either the economists are correct, or they are incorrect. What would an extreme mathematician look like?

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1 hour ago, Locke said:

What has happened to journalism?

These people are like religious nuts. Either the economists are correct, or they are incorrect. What would an extreme mathematician look like?

I am in agreement with you on that about journalists using such cheap labels to tar someone and their opinion.  The quoted £150 million costing the HMRC by BTL tax evasion, I would say is one tenth of the real figure (£1.5 billion), so that would make me more extreme than the extremist economists.?

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Chartered Accountant here, HMRC only really open enquiries/investigations when an individual is reported. The woman who evaded tax for 10 years on her BTLs was most likely reported by some disgruntled tenant. 

 

If you want to get someone on HMRCs radar; multiple, separate reports from different people will do the trick. Make sure to mention the person brags about not paying tax, but drives around in the latest range rover and goes on holiday 4 times a year. They will get investigated pronto. 

 

I'm a mandated reporter - I've reported many people in my time, they always end up getting investigated. Just takes time as HMRC are rather slow. 

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52 minutes ago, MuayThai18 said:

Chartered Accountant here, HMRC only really open enquiries/investigations when an individual is reported. The woman who evaded tax for 10 years on her BTLs was most likely reported by some disgruntled tenant. 

 

If you want to get someone on HMRCs radar; multiple, separate reports from different people will do the trick. Make sure to mention the person brags about not paying tax, but drives around in the latest range rover and goes on holiday 4 times a year. They will get investigated pronto. 

 

I'm a mandated reporter - I've reported many people in my time, they always end up getting investigated. Just takes time as HMRC are rather slow. 

What is the law regarding the tenants' responsibilities? I know of someone who is reporting their landlord for not having an HMO licence in place on their property and obviously not paying taxes.

They reckon they will get 6 months' rent back, but I would be concerned about legal blowback on them. Wasn't there some rumbling about tenants having a legal duty to ensure their landlord pays taxes?

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1 hour ago, MuayThai18 said:

Chartered Accountant here, HMRC only really open enquiries/investigations when an individual is reported. The woman who evaded tax for 10 years on her BTLs was most likely reported by some disgruntled tenant. 

 

If you want to get someone on HMRCs radar; multiple, separate reports from different people will do the trick. Make sure to mention the person brags about not paying tax, but drives around in the latest range rover and goes on holiday 4 times a year. They will get investigated pronto. 

 

I'm a mandated reporter - I've reported many people in my time, they always end up getting investigated. Just takes time as HMRC are rather slow. 

I always remember being on the tools over 20 years ago and on two occasions a few years apart  being offered cash in hand by two separate high up Tax inspectors, my only thought was were they trying to catch me out, but they wasn't ?

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3 hours ago, MuayThai18 said:

Chartered Accountant here, HMRC only really open enquiries/investigations when an individual is reported. The woman who evaded tax for 10 years on her BTLs was most likely reported by some disgruntled tenant. 

 

If you want to get someone on HMRCs radar; multiple, separate reports from different people will do the trick. Make sure to mention the person brags about not paying tax, but drives around in the latest range rover and goes on holiday 4 times a year. They will get investigated pronto. 

 

I'm a mandated reporter - I've reported many people in my time, they always end up getting investigated. Just takes time as HMRC are rather slow. 

Thanks @MuayThai18 great post, that was exactly the sort of info that helps!

Sounds like i may have to set up some new email address then ;)

It's good to know form the horses mouth that reporting them can make a difference.

@Locke I totally forgot about the HMO licence too! So thats three things that most BTL scumbags are dodging!

1) Decalring BTL Income

2) Having a BTL mortgage

3) HMO Licensing

You can bet most landlords do't bother with any of the three.

It's the local council you need if you want to report them for HMO licensing right? And can you do it annonymously?

@msi Are you former HRMC too? And a coder? I didn't quite follow your first post:

23 hours ago, msi said:

Pretty sure HMRC have bulk access to Land Registry and Rightmove / Open rent. Cross referencing these against Tax Returns must be like shooting fish in a barrel.

If anyone from HMRC is reading and doesn't have this, I'll do it gratis.

 

You can collate all this info then??

 

 

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From my knowledge HMRC have all the knowledge in data, but don't bother (or bother in most cases) to mine it for patterns of tax evasion.

 

I am guessing the bottle neck is proceeding against offenders.

 

It might actually be a good idea to outsource this problem.  Give a company access to all the data, and say they can keep 10% of what is recovered.

Edited by reddog
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2 minutes ago, reddog said:

Give a company access to all the data, and say they can keep 10% of what is recovered.

Data protection would be a massive problem here and I don't think it is moral to sell private citizens' data via the government.

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On 4/16/2020 at 2:01 PM, highcontrast said:

A quick back story, live in an area which is terraced housing and where I am is predomninatly rental,  mixture of university students and scummy wasters. Always had on-going issues with particualy with noise and anti-social behavior, sometimes truly horrendous.

Why do you not move away - sound awful 

On 4/16/2020 at 2:01 PM, highcontrast said:

1) Is the land registry the only way of obtaining info about who owns a property? i.e. is there a free way that doesnt involve rummaging through bins? (Whilst its only a few quid theres quite a few house i want to report!)

Yes and No 

On 4/16/2020 at 2:01 PM, highcontrast said:

2) How do you find out if someone has a residential mortage vs a BTL mortgage? Who do you report this to if they dont have a BTL mortage

you will not - data protection

On 4/16/2020 at 2:01 PM, highcontrast said:

3) Would it look suspect if a bunch of properties were reported to the tax office all in the same vicinity at the same time?

Probably

On 4/16/2020 at 2:01 PM, highcontrast said:

4)Any other suggestions to #KickEmWhileTheyreDown? Or any suggestions to do the above more efficiently?

Read a book? Go for a run? Do the garden?

 

 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

Why do you not move away - sound awful 

Or BTL scum can f*** off and normal residents can buy house instead? But yes, moving house was the plan just before the pandemic, but I have also since lost my job due to it. However timing may have worked out well as the housing market is going to be torn to shreds...bargains galore  :)  I would have been gutted paying the silly prices around January time.

4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

Yes and No 

Helpful, thanks.

4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

you will not - data protection

Well...funny you should say that, but I've just may have found a way/source for this...but I shall keep it to myself for now :)

4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

Probably

Thanks (genuinely this time), good thinking, I'll stagger my correspondence and as @MuayThai18 says, get "others" to email in.

4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

Read a book? Go for a run? Do the garden?

Nah, this is much more fun.

P.s. Btw how's the portfolio doing @richmondtw ? Void season ahoy? Hope "you've" been declaring all your income to the tax man? ;) 

Edited by highcontrast
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4 hours ago, richmondtw said:

and the left wing press wail about rents with the same sob story

HRMC go to chase people for rent?

What sort of false equivalence are you trying to paint here.

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HMRCs system 'Connect' doesn't appear to be directly connected to the land registry. 

They get property related financial data from banks and solicitors AML checks etc and you will slowly begin to appear on their radar. From the point that data started being collected around 2011 they will slowly be building a dataset that captures sales etc as they happen... 

Ive worked in data for central govt and there would need to be a number of agreements in place between HMRC and the Land Registry to allow data to be exchanged. Start to finish that would take 1 1/2 to 2 years to agree and build.if it hasn't happened It's probably been too much time/cost to organise. 

The land registry has only been digital for about 15 years or so. I had to make a change to a charge held against my house and my solicitor was surprised that my house was on the digital registry, bought may 2005. Anything before that is still on ye olde parchment in a file and won't be updated until the next sale/change means its added to the digital registry. It used to be when you paid for a land registry record you got every single entry ever recorded against that address- I've seen land registry entries on property deeds going back to 17th century entries written in quill. 

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