Tax Changes to Holiday Homes Planned

The current regime of Furnished Holiday Lettings (FHL) may be about to change as HMRC are consulting on new legislation to replace FHL.

Currently, tax rules allow for holiday lettings to be traded as a “quazi trade” with a number of reliefs available as if the activity was being treated as a trade. Also, there are a number of Capital Gains reliefs that apply to disposals.

Changes are needed to keep as the regime needs to apply to the rest of the European Union and not just the UK. Holiday homes are seen as an important part of the UK tourist industry and the treasury has the tough job of satisfying European compliance in a way that is favourable to the economy.

The latest FHL proposals are as follows:

  • To qualify as a holiday letting property, it must currently be available to be rented for 140 days a year. It has been proposed to increase this to 210 days a year.
  • Currently, a property must be physically occupied by a holiday maker for 70 days per year. The latest proposal is to increase that to 105 days a year.
  • Losses made in a FHL business can be currently set against profits in an entirely different business. This may be restricted under new proposals to only allow losses to be set against profits from the same FHL business.