We Support a Judicial Review of Clause 24

Brentwood Lettings is very proud to support a new campaign against the unfair and unjust Clause 24.

Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper are co-leading a legal challenge against the Conservative Government via a process known as a “Judicial Review”.

Judicial Review of Clause 24 (Alice in Wonderland Tax Grab) is aimed at disallowing the perfectly legitimate finance costs (including mortgage interest), of individuals who own and operate buy to let properties in their own name but excludes the same for institutions, corporations, wealthy cash buyers and overseas landlords.

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

clause 24

 

This Clause 

The Government wishes to continue to tax not just the rental ‘profits’, but will now not allow individual investors to offset the main cost of arriving at that taxable profit, namely the mortgage finance costs.

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

 

What’s at stake?

EVERY single business in the UK is allowed to offset their total costs against their income before being taxed (on their profit). The Summer Budget changes this very fundamental and important business principle.

However, it only does so in a way that just discriminates against individual buy to let business owner-operators, who have mortgages/finance costs.

As a result of this change, many thousands of people will find themselves being taxed on loss-making buy-to-let properties, see massive increases in the percentage of tax payable and many will find that they will be pushed upwards into a higher tax bracket, even though they may well not be making a single penny of extra profit!

We want to bring back a level playing field in the private rented sector to challenge the advantage the government is giving to institutional and corporate investors, overseas property buyers and cash-purchasing landlords, none of whom are affected by Clause 24.

In the words of Philip Booth, a Professor of Finance, Public Policy and Ethics at St. Mary’s University:

“To put it quite bluntly, this is an elementary undergraduate public finance error that should not be made in the Treasury.”

A member of ICAEW commented;

“It is a long established principle of taxation that expenses incurred wholly and exclusively for the purposes of the business are deductible when calculating the taxable profits. Clause 24 of the Summer 2015 Finance Bill contravenes that principle and will result in proprietors of property businesses being liable to tax on a fictitious profit – even if the proprietors really make a loss.

The tax change does not just affect new borrowings. Landlords with existing borrowings will be affected. Portfolio landlords will be particularly badly hit.

As a consequence of the tax change, major changes in the private sector will take place. Some landlords will pass on their increased tax by increasing rents. Others will be forced to sell, as they will not be in a position to pay the extra tax demanded by HMRC. Homelessness will increase as some tenants will not be able to afford higher rents and many will be evicted by landlords forced to sell”.

Steve Bolton, who is spear-heading the legal fight on behalf of his 250 strong network of PPP landlords and thousands of other investors, commented:

“It’s not clear why the Government has chosen to just launch an attack on buy-to-let owner-operators with mortgages. It’s a tax from Alice in Wonderland – truly absurd and divorced from real life. Not only is this tax grab unfair, undemocratic and underhanded, but we believe that it could also be unlawful.”

The lawyers supporting Steve Bolton and other interested parties believe that there may be a basis in Human Rights and European law where this can be challenged and over-turned via the courts.

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

 

What’s the next step:

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The campaign is seeking a “judicial review”, which is a type of court proceeding where a judge reviews the lawfulness of a decision or action taken by a public body (in this case the Conservative Government).

Specifically we are challenging Clause 24 of the Finance Bill 2015, which we believe unlawfully breaches human rights and/or European Union law.

 

What are the steps and likely timings for a judicial review action?

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Raising £50,000 of funding – as soon as possible

A “pre-action protocol letter” setting out our case to be sent to the Government in January 2016 (latest);

An application for judicial review to be filed with the court in February 2016;

The Government then has 21 days to respond to the application by filing a defence;
If permission is granted, a 1-3 day hearing would then be scheduled by the court and a decision would be made

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

 

The legal team:

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Mrs Cherie Blair CBE, QC and Sarah Hannett Omnia Strategy LLP.

 

 

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

Individuals affected by Clause 24 if it results in landlords leaving or not investing further in the private rented sector:

Landlords
Lettings agents
BTL lenders
Mortgage brokers
Handymen
Builders
Insurance providers
EPC providers
Suppliers of products and services to the lettings sector – including digital products such as property management software.
Accountants
Furniture providers (HMOs)
Solicitors
Tenants

 

If you would like to lend your support to this campaign please visit:

JUDICIAL REVIEW OF CLAUSE 24 – CAMPAIGN WEBSITE

 

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