Winter Rule slams holiday lets move


Cornish accountant and business adviser Winter Rule has lashed out at the Government’s decision to scrap tax benefits currently available to furnished holiday lets, following yesterday’s Pre Budget Report.

It is estimated the move will lose the holiday cottage industry alone £200 million a year and cause eight out of ten self-catering holiday properties to go under.

Cornwall and the South West have the highest number of holiday lets in the country.

John Endacott, a tax-partner with Winter Rule and an acknowledged national expert on tourism taxation issues said: “We canvassed industry opinion about these changes throughout the summer and met with Treasury and Revenue officials to present compelling evidence gathered from businesses across the South West and beyond about the likely impact these proposals would have.

“We were promised detailed guidance for property owners but what’s been produced is useless and avoids all the difficult questions. The Government has ignored the practical issues that holiday letting businesses are going to face and they simply don’t have the data to arrive at a rational policy. Instead they have published a dodgy impact assessment of Iraq WMD proportions.

“Earlier this week 116 cross-party MPs signed a Commons motion for these changes to be reviewed as soon as possible and yet the Government is still looking to railroad them through. Following the PBR my advice to those affected is clear – lobby your MP.”


  1. Tax relief should be limited to the income produced by the holiday let asset. It should not be extended to income from other sources.

    It is ludicrous that a high tax payer e.g a barrister should be able to offset expenses in running their holiday home against their income as a barrister. It should only be allowed against any income produced from holiday rents.

    Council Tax should be double for non main residences to counter the economic blight that empty homes have on villages.

    Most second home owners are lovely people, attacking them because they a can afford two homes is totally unproductive and un-helpful. Educating everyone to both the great benefit that tourism can bring as well as recognising the real economic damage that empty houses can cause is a sensible way forward.

    Those that refuse to acknowledge the problem damage the case for the very real and important benefits that tourism brings to Cornwall.

    Winter Rule asking tax payers if they want to pay more tax – then announcing that the answer is no is hardly news, nor is it much of a contribution to the debate.!

  2. Could this not hypothetically mean though that villages that are ghost towns 10 months of the year because all the housing has been bought as holiday homes/lets might actually start to see some of these properties become available to the non-holiday trade, thus lowering prices to a vaguely affordable level?

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