Landlords will struggle to come to terms with Making Tax Digital, says RLA

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) has issued a warning to private landlords over Making Tax Digital (MTD), after a study revealed that the average buy-to-let investor “lacks confidence with digital technology”.

According to the RLA, HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is rushing the MTD project without “proper consideration” for landlords – the majority of whom are unlikely to be ready for an all-digital tax system by the time it is introduced.

John Stewart, policy manager at the RLA, said: “Our survey shows many of our landlords are older and lack confidence with digital technology”.

Kate Faulkner, managing director of Property Checklists, added that “the average age of a landlord is over-55” and that most were likely to be “technophobes”.

The RLA’s survey found that the majority of UK landlords thought that MTD should be introduced on a ‘voluntary’ basis for buy-to-let investors.

In response to a recent Government consultation on Making Tax Digital (MTD), the RLA highlighted the following concerns:

  • HMRC should release more information about the project.
  • The Revenue’s intended timescales are tight and the RLA doubts its ability to meet them.
  • HMRC needs to back up its systems and ensure that any third party data supplied to MTD is safe.
  • Promised exemptions for the digitally excluded and smallest businesses may not be delivered.
  • The RLA deems the project ultimately unnecessary and believes it will prove an extra time and cost burden for all those affected.

The Association has also stressed that unsure landlords “should avoid tackling their tax changes alone”.