Holiday let changes face delay

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Controversial plans to introduce new tax rules for furnished holiday let owners are likely to be shelved until after the Election, according to a leading tax expert in the region.

John Endacott, tax partner at accountants Winter Rule and a prominent commentator on the issue of furnished holiday lets, said the proposed changes – due to come in yesterday (April 6) – would probably be postponed because the General Election is compressing the legislative timetable.

He explained that for technical reasons the new Finance Bill containing the changes must be enacted before Parliament ends its current session, and with the election now confirmed for May 6 that means the deadline is this week. But with last week’s published Finance Bill running to a surprising 174 pages and such limited time for discussion and debate, it is likely that MPs will agree to dispense with contentious items until after the election in order to get the Bill through in time.

Endacott said: “This pre-election horse trading is not unusual and a lot of eyes will be on the Shadow Chancellor George Osborne who has pledged to ‘undo the damage caused’ by these proposed tax changes if elected. A cross-party group of 123 MPs has also signed a motion against.

“I’ve long given up trying to predict how politicians will behave but given the limited time available and the clear opposition to these changes, I’d expect the parts of the Bill that deal with furnished holiday lets to be dropped for now and then returned to after the election in a new Finance Bill that will be introduced by whoever is in government.”

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