People have always invested in property, whether in their own homes, or through buy-to-let pension funds and other collective investment vehicles in commercial property.
In recent years, the rise and fall of property prices, the ups and downs of the stock market and the increased emphasis on the performance of pensions and other investment vehicles - particularly through the credit crunch - have all raised the profile of property as an investment asset class.
We work with government and other relevant regulators to ensure that tax, accounting and regulatory rules and changes are appropriate and well designed, and as far as possible support, rather than harm, the industry.
Our work covers everything from high level issues like the property debt overhang and its impact on both the property industry and the banking sector, through to the minutiae of tax law and accounting standards.
We have mounted high profile campaigns like our opposition to empty property rates and proactive initiatives like our support for the introduction of tax increment financing, and the extension of the REITs regime.
We are also working with the government on its reform of the taxation of companies' foreign profits, and are encouraging it to end the legal anomaly that effectively discourages the creation of property investment LLPs.
Since 2009, we have also got increasingly involved in responding to, and seeking to shape, a number of European financial regulatory initiatives that could have a serious impact on our industry. Examples include the Alternative Investment Fund Management Directive, the reform of OTC derivatives, Solvency II and proposals for the taxation of the financial sector (potentially defined to catch many property businesses).
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