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[Liv Cashman on Unsplash]

Petition and survey launched to address FHL tax regime

UK: After the UK Government announced that it was scrapping tax relief for holiday lets earlier this month, a petition and survey have both been launched to address the incoming Furnished Holiday Lettings [FHL] tax regime and assess its impact on businesses across the UK.

In the first place, James Varley, founder of Holiday Cottage Handbook, has created a petition urging the government to reverse its plan to abolish the FHL tax regime. If the petition reaches 10,000 signatures within the next six months [by the 25 September 2024 deadline], the government will respond, and if it reaches 100,000, the petition will be considered for debate in parliament.

At the time of writing, the petition has already attracted more than 600 signatures. You must be based in the UK to be able to sign the petition at this link.

Varley said: “I would like to sincerely thank everyone who has signed the petition and shared it so widely. To have reached more than 500 signatures so quickly is  indicative of the strong feeling the government’s Spring Budget announcement has caused.

“One of the reasons I launched Holiday Cottage Handbook was to promote the short-term rental industry and clearly illustrate the value it brings to people, businesses, and the wider economy. Those of us with a vested interest in the holiday rental sector clearly understand this – but our task now is to unite and convince the government.

“Pressure which is backed up with convincing data will help us to win the argument – and this has the potential to boost tourism, jobs, and economies up and down the country. I hope everyone connected to the short-term rental industry signs the petition and shares it widely.

“Let’s get to those 10,000 signatures as soon as possible,” he added.

Following the announcement in the Spring Budget, UK-based short-term rental industry associations warned of the impact that the incoming tax regime would have on holiday accommodation businesses, with the UK Short Term Accommodation Association [STAA] specifically warning that it would force the closure of “hundreds” of small businesses.

The Professional Association of Self-Caterers UK [PASC UK] and The Association of Scotland’s Self-Caterers [ASSC] have also jointly pushed back against the abolition of FHL allowances by Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and have set up a short-term letting survey to assess its impact on businesses.

The two associations, alongside their industry partners, are leading a collective call against the change and the impact it could have on the UK self-catering holiday industry, and the thousands of people it supports. They say that the results will help strengthen their advocacy efforts, providing valuable data to demonstrate the impact of this change across the whole of the UK.

The anonymous survey takes around three minutes to complete and can be filled out at this link.

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