The tax man wants electronic payment providers to pass over more information about landlords renting out buy to lets and holiday lets.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) requires more businesses processing online transactions to pass them any financial details about rents or other income.
The rules cover any electronic transactions by customers making orders, purchases or reservations online relating to goods, services or digital content.
The power comes from, the Finance Act 2013, but has lain dormant until now.
Any owner or letting agent who rents a property online will have their details sent to HMRC in an annual report by provider running the service they use.
The main targets are web sites such as AirBnB, other online holiday letting sites and online letting agents.
High street letting agents already make an annual report to HMRC identifying landlords, rental properties and income earned.
“HMRC will be turning the screw on online traders in 2016 – including those they rent out property,” said ACCA’s head of taxation Chas Roy-Chowdhury.
“Money made by letting a property at home or abroad will be classed as income and must be declared to the taxman. If you are using the web site to source customers, then I would strongly advise to make the necessary declaration to HMRC.”
“Data is a powerful tool for checking tax returns when the information comes from third parties involved in collecting or making payments on behalf of someone buying or selling through a web site,” said an HMRC spokesman.
“The information comes in bulk and is easily checked against the information traders give us about their earnings.”
ACCA is warning landlords to check financial records to make sure that any income from property for the tax year ending April 5, 2015 is included on tax returns due for filing by January 31.
“HMRC are under tremendous pressure from the government to increase the tax revenues collected,” said Roy-Chowdhury. “If they believe that you are deliberately withholding information about a source of income they will look to penalise you.”
More details about the campaign were published in the HMRC report ‘Tackling the Hidden Economy’.