Second-home owners who ‘pretend‘ to let their properties out to holidaymakers face a tax crackdown from Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.
Press reports have revealed that Mr Gove is threatening to hit them with new bills which could run to over £1,000 a year, to stop them abusing a tax loophole.
His officials say the crackdown will benefit destinations including the Lake District, Devon and Cornwall by encouraging tourism
Under current rules, second-home owners in England can avoid paying council tax by saying they intend to let their properties out to other holidaymakers and so qualify as small businesses
However, the vast majority of the 65,000 such ‘holiday lets’ in England can also then benefit from business rates relief of 100 per cent depending on the properties’ value.
The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) also says that there is currently ‘no requirement’ to produce evidence that a second home has actually been let out – not just left empty.