Council welcomes end to second home tax loophole

tax loophole

The tax loophole allowed some second home owners to avoid paying either council tax or business rates - Credit: PA

East Suffolk Council has welcomed the government's announcement of ending a loophole which allowed some second home owners to avoid paying either council tax or business rates.

The announcement comes after second home owners were able to register for business rates, then claimed relief by stating that their properties were available for let for 140 days each year but without actually having to let them.

Under new measures from April 2023, those second home owners will have to prove that their holiday lets are being rented out for a minimum of 70 days each year in order to access small business rates relief, where they meet the criteria.

Holiday let owners will have to provide evidence such as the website or brochure used to advertise the property, letting details and receipts.

Properties will also have to be available to be rented out for 140 days per year to qualify for the relief.

Leader of the campaign councillor Maurice Cook, East Suffolk’s cabinet member for Resources, said: “This has been a long-fought campaign and I am grateful to my councillor colleagues from across the country including Devon, Cornwall, Norfolk, Warwickshire and Cumbria who joined with me in lobbying the government to address this unfair situation.

"It has to be right that all homeowners pay their fair share in local taxes for the services they are provided with and the closure of this loophole will benefit every council tax payer in the district.”