The Law Society has accused the government of avoiding proper consultation and scrutiny in the way it has introduced new buy to let proposals.
They may mean that profits from the sale of buy to let property could in future be subject to income tax rather than capital gains tax.
The measures have been, in the words of the Law Society, “slipped in at the committee stage [in parliament]” by the government, instead of being part of the formal legislation which is subject to a standard consultation period.
“By introducing a significant change in this way, the government is denying the public the chance to consider and comment on these proposals” claims society chief executive Catherine Dixon.
"The way these changes were introduced, in particular without consultation on the draft legislation before it was added to the Bill at such a late stage, starts to feel like legislation by stealth” she adds.
The Law Society's corporation tax sub-committee has made representations to the government setting out how the amendments will materially change some investors' tax obligations - you can read them here.
Dixon says that if the government does not intend to make a material change at the committee stage, it should clarify the language in the Bill before it is passed. The Finance Bill will go before the House of Commons for its report stage on September 5 and 6.
The government has also been roundly criticised by much of the letting agency and buy to let industry for its other changes to landlords’ tax breaks announced over the past 18 months.