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'Say No To George' petition now well over 40,000 signatures

An online petition asking the government to rethink its raft of tax measures imposed on buy to let landlords this year has now comfortably exceeded the 40,000 signature mark.

As of this morning the petition - here - has 41,430 signatories: this is still some way off the 100,000 target, which has to be met by the end of January, to oblige the government to consider some kind of debate on the measures, but is nonetheless much more successful than most online petitions of its kind.

The petition was set up by some of the campaigners behind the SayNoToGeorge website, opposing recent tax measures aimed at buy to let investors.

Back in July, at the summer Budget following the general election, the government announced that mortgage interest tax relief for buy to let homebuyers should be restricted to the basic rate of income tax, currently 20 per cent, even if they themselves pay the higher 40 or 45 per cent tax rates. Chancellor George Osborne says the relief, which will address "unfairnesses in property taxation", will be phased out from 2017. 

From next year Osborne is also proposing to change the Wear & Tear tax allowance for landlords. Currently it allows 10 per cent of rental profits to be written off for notional wear and tear, even if there has been no such actual expenditure in that particular year. However, HMRC will soon be introducing a system that enables all landlords to deduct only the costs they actually incur on replacing furnishings in the property. 

In more recent weeks Osborne has announced a three per cent stamp duty surcharge on buy to let and other ‘additional home’ properties, levied at the time of purchase.

  • Simon Shinerock

    When higher rate tax relief was withdrawn it was the opening salvo in a war declared in the individual landlord. I have been thinking a great deal about this issue as, on the surface, it is an attack on the Tory faithful. Putting aside the obvious cynical explanation, it's a tax grab from voters who have no one else to vote for, I have come up with another conclusion. I think this is really all about regulating the PRS in order to provide decent enforceable standards. It's much easier to regulate thousands of corporate landlords than millions of private ones. So, if this can't be stopped, the solution will be small groups of landlords organising into corporate bodies, there will be rich pickings for businesses who can do this for their clients safely and legally

  • icon

    Indeed. The wealthy & organised can always find a sound way around knee jerk tax policies, which this would appear to be.


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