Daily bite-sized proptech and property news in partnership with Estate Agent Networking.
Treasury slow-rolls digital tax returns for landlords
In what had been heralded as a wonderful way to ensure that an estimated 800,000 “accidental landlords” actually declare to HMRC they are landlords, it would now seem the Treasury has gone soft on the idea.
At present, landlords whose personal tax liability is above the current threshold have to ensure they put in a tax return to HMRC. With the advent of making tax digital, it was going to be the case that in January 2023, all landlords would need to digitally file an assessment four times a year outlining income and expenditure, as well as their annual tax return, as before.
This no doubt would have generated extra income and made the entire process of collecting tax – and chasing down rogue landlords who perhaps owed tax – a little easier.
Now we learn that the pandemic has changed the timetable, though I can’t in any way see why there is a connection between the pandemic and collecting the correct amount of tax.
The Financial Secretary to the Treasury, MP Lucy Frazer, has gone on record to explain that after consultation with various stakeholders in the lettings vertical, saying: “as we emerge from the pandemic, it’s critical that everyone has enough time to prepare for the change, which is why we’re giving people an extra year to do so.”
To me, it sounds like a counterintuitive step. Surely getting landlords to record everything digitally and presenting it to the HMRC is just the same as any other person or company making their business details transparent.
Why should there be yet another year to get everything sorted? It’s just making an analogue system digital, which usually after some training and adoption means much more efficient businesses.
Trussle poised to redefine mortgage lending in the UK
Trussle, the online five-day mortgage provider, or at least that is what it aims to be, is in a hurry to scale up. Although it offers advice through its online platform, it is now looking to employ 1,000 advisors (no, that is not a mistype) by Q4 2022.
Trussle is now firmly inside the behemoth that is Better, which in turn is rumoured to be gearing up to IPO in the coming months through a SPAC or blank cheque company offering. If this happens the valuation will be pushing serious figures.
This could be the pivotal moment in the UK real estate sector, where getting property finance finally succumbs to the digital speed and efficiency that has existed for some time. Think cloud computing and AI, which have been around for quite some time now.
The bigger question will be if Trussle does manage to successfully move through its growth pathway, who in the UK will be in place to stop them? The very concept of quick property finance, which is ostensibly free, is the holy grail of homeowners and those looking to re-mortgage.
No more torturous delays, just house finance at speed. Watch this space.
Andrew Stanton is the founder of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.