An analysis of data released by HM Revenue and Customs shows that 1.9 million people earned money from property in 2015-16 - the latest available figures.
The analysis, undertaken by financial services operator NFU Mutual, reveals that the number of new landlords has risen on average by over 100,000 every year since 2011-12.
It says the total net income from property hit £16.2 billion in 2015-16, an increase of £4.1 billion over four years.
The annual Personal Incomes Statistics, published by HMRC, also show total income from dividends almost doubled over the same period from £42.5 billion to £83.8 billion as average income from property soared to £17,000 per investor.
These figures do not apply to the more recent period since the introduction of the stamp duty surcharge on additional properties, nor the first phase of the mortgage interest tax relief changes for landlords.
“The Chancellor will be rubbing his hands in anticipation as these huge incomes from dividends and properties give the taxman two bites at the cherry” says an NFU Mutual spokesman.
“It’s not just the income that will be taxed. The latest predictions from the Office for Budget Responsibility show Capital Gains Tax receipts will rocket from £8.8bn this tax year to £9.9bn in 2018-19 and £13.3bn in five years’ time. So they clearly expect many investors to sell up and realise their gains between now and 2022-23.”
The company says Capital Gains Tax can be charged when assets and investments are sold or given away. For most assets such as shares, gains are taxed at 10 or 20 per cent.
Anyone selling a property that isn’t their main residence will pay 18 or 28 per cent depending on the size of the gain and their other income.
The firm says it expects to see the number of landlords start to plateau or even fall over the next few years as property investors start to feel the pinch from a series of tax measures that have already come into force.