New FHL business commenced in Scotland 2019 -2020 with first booking on 4th August 2019. Coronavirus has obviously resulted in cancellations and reduced demand during the upcoming peak season when the 12 month period from the first booking ends. As a result it is coubtful that the occupancy requirement of being let at least for 105 days is going to be fulfilled in the 12 month period ending after the first booking. Availability (more than 210 days) and pattern of occupancy conditions are in compliance. There is no other property to average against and this is the first year of operations. Considerable capital expenditure on furniture and fittings incurred. Documentary proof for all of the above i.e. reservations, cancellations, capital expenditure etc are all in order.
Will HMRC allow /elect for a grace year to qualify as a FHL? Will they be persuaded coronoavirus falls under exceptional circumstances?
The guidance seems to say 'customer may genuinely intend to meet the letting condition, but was unable to. If this happens, they may be able to make a period of grace election that allows the property to qualify as a FHL as long as the pattern of occupation and availability conditions were met.' but then proceeds to explain on the premise the property has met the occupancy condition in a prior year.
Any pointers/guidances or where to look in ITTOIA/S323-326A or elsewhere? Thanks in advance all.