The campaigners against planned changes to mortgage interest tax relief – set to come into effect from April, phased over four years – have announced a step up in their opposition to the proposals.
Earlier this year the campaigners failed in their bid to overturn Clause 24 of the 2015 Finance Act, which included the provision to reduce mortgage tax relief for landlords. They claimed that it was allegedly unlawful because of a range of grounds on which owner occupiers had financial and tax advantages unavailable to landlords, and because most small businesses are taxed and allowed to deduct their costs before calculating their taxable profits – denied to landlords under this proposal.
Now the campaigners say they have formalised the loose structure under which, over the past year, different private rental sector groups have opposed the move.
This means that a formal coalition campaign group is now being set up, consisting of the National Landlords Association, the Residential Landlords Association, Scottish Association of Landlords, Association of Residential Letting Agents and UK Association of Letting Agents.
“Together, these organisations represent more than 150,000 private landlords, who in turn provide homes to more than one million tenants. They also represent the largest number of professional letting agents in the UK” says a message from the campaign organisers, who are operating around the slogan ‘Axe The Tenant Tax.’
These organisations have now agreed to wage political opposition to the proposal, including lobbying MPs and government, a PR campaign to heighten awareness amongst landlords and letting agents, and talking with other organisations affected by the change including mortgage providers and other industry opinion formers.
There will also be an ‘Axe the Tenant Tax Awareness Week’ in April, consisting of PR, political and social media activities to link in with the planned start date of Section 24 on April 5.
“This is based on a working assumption that the Tenant Tax is not abolished or changed in the March 2017 budget” say the campaigners.
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