The Welsh Government has announced, from April 2023, new Business Rates qualifying conditions for holiday lets and an increase to the maximum amount of Council Tax which can be charged on second homes. This follows changes to Business Rates criteria for self-catering accommodation previously being announced in England and Scotland. 

Wales

In order to address the issue of second homes and unaffordable housing in many areas of Wales, the Welsh Government has announced that from April 2023:

  • The maximum level at which local authorities can set Council Tax on second homes and long-term empty properties will be increased to 300%.
    • The current maximum level is 100%.
    • Councils will decide the level that is appropriate, up to the maximum, for their individual local circumstances.
    • Different rates may be charged to second homes and long-term empty dwellings.
  • For commercially let self-catering accommodation to be liable for Business Rates instead of Council Tax, in any 12 month period the property must be:
    • Available to let for at least 252 days (currently 140 days).
    • Be let for at least 182 days (currently 70 days).

The draft Order which implements the change to self-catering accommodation qualifying for Business Rates is subject to Consultation until 12 April 2022.

This Business Rates announcement follows similar previously announced changes in England and Scotland.  

England

From April 2023, for commercially let Self-catering accommodation in England to be subject to Business Rates rather than Council Tax, its owner must evidence that the property will be:

  • Available to let for at least 140 days in the previous and subsequent year.
  • Be let for at least 70 days in the previous year.

Under the current rules, there is no actual letting requirement and only a 140-day availability condition applies.  

Scotland

From April 2022, to be eligible for Business Rates, properties in Scotland must be:

  • Available to let for 140 days or more a year.
  • Be let for 70 days in a financial year.

Before April 2022, only the 140-day availability condition applies.

Useful guides on this topic

Consultation response: Business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation
The government has published its response to the 2018 consultation ‘Business rates treatment of self-catering accommodation’ which considered options to strengthen the criteria for holiday lets to be liable for Business Rates. 

Furnished Holiday Letting
What is Furnished Holiday Letting? How do you qualify for Furnished Holiday Letting? What are the rules for Furnished Holiday Letting?

Property profits & losses: Toolkit (2021-22)
Our Property profits & losses toolkit takes HMRC's version and adds a great deal more information about what you can claim as an individual.

Buy-to-let ownership: personal v. company?
What is the most tax-efficient option to own buy-to-let property?  Personally or via a company? What are the income and Corporation Tax, CGT, IHT, ATED, SDLT, or VAT issues? With tips on profit extraction and other planning points, case studies and links to further guidance.

External links

Welsh Government: New tax rules for second homes

GOV.UK: Business rates, Self-catering and holiday let accommodation

Scottish Government: Self-catering and holiday lets


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