Landlords launch new crowdfunding campaign in legal challenge to Osborne

Posted: 20/4/2016

A second round of crowdfunding has been launched in a bid to raise money for a legal battle against the Government.


Two landlords, Steve Bolton and Chris Cooper, have hired Cherie Blair’s law firm Omnia Strategy to challenge plans to limit the amount of mortgage interest that landlords can set against tax.

The pair are calling Section 24 of the Finance Act 2015 the ‘Tenant Tax’ and claim that “huge numbers of landlords will be forced to raise rents, evict tenants or sell properties”.

They say: “As a result of this new legislation, many thousands of people will also find themselves being taxed on loss-making buy-to-let properties and see massive increases in the percentage of tax payable.

“Many will find that they will be pushed upwards into a higher rate tax bracket, even though in reality they will not be making a single penny of extra income.

“Every single business in the UK is allowed to offset its total costs against its income before being taxed (on its profit).

“This hugely important accounting and business principle, where INCOME minus COSTS equals PROFIT, no longer applies to individual buy-to-let business owner-operators with finance costs.

“If the Government is willing to completely rewrite this most fundamental of business and accounting principles and to reclassify a ‘normal business expense’ as ‘mortgage interest relief’ and make it taxable revenue, who will be targeted next: Corporate landlords? Shopkeepers? All small business owners and entrepreneurs?”

Bolton and Cooper raised a preliminary £50,000 in their first round of crowd-funding. In their new one, they hope to raise £250,000 to keep the Judicial Review going.

The pair are also organising a rally in London on June 9 to raise further funds.

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