This post was last updated on December 8th, 2020 at 06:29 pm
Every landlord in the UK must pay tax on their rental income. Regardless of whether you own one property or one hundred, the government views being a landlord as no different to running a small business – and all businesses must pay their taxes. To pay your tax, you must register for a self-assessment and carry out a landlord tax return.
If numbers aren’t your thing, figuring out your finances is no small feat and – for a lot of people – the idea of tackling their taxes alone can be pretty daunting. To help you out, we’ve put together a start-to-finish explanation of everything you need to get your taxes done and dusted.
How do I begin my landlord tax return?
To start your landlord tax return, the first thing you need to do is register for Self-Assessment via GOV.UK. You can fill out the form online or send it by post – either way, you’ll be asked for your:
- Full name and address
- National Insurance Number
- Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) – if you’ve previously registered for a self-assessment, you’ll find a 10-digit number on the front page of your tax return
- Telephone number and email address
- Reason for completing a tax return – as a landlord, you’ll need to tick “I’m getting income from land and property in the UK”
- Start date of your untaxed rental income
Mortgage interest tax relief is changing in 2020 – find out more here.
What’s included in my landlord tax return?
As a landlord, the main forms of tax that you will need to pay are Income Tax and National Insurance Contributions. If the profit on your rental income is above £5,965 per year and being a landlord is your main job, you will have to pay Class 2 National Insurance. If your profit is below £5,965 a year, you can make voluntary National Insurance Contributions to help your pension.
You must report your rental income on your self-assessment landlord tax return if it is:
- £2,500 to £9,999 after allowable expenses
- £10,000 or more before allowable expense
If your rental income is less than £2,500, you must contact the HMRC as a full self-assessment may not be required.
Landlord tax returns must take into account all of your income, so have your P60 to hand. Any other tax you have paid in the year is deducted.
What about companies and larger businesses?
If you own a property company, you should count the rental income the same way as any other business income. You may also have to register to pay Corporation Tax.
What’s not included in my landlord tax return?
When it comes to residential lettings, there are a few costs that can be claimed to bring down landlord tax returns. These deductions are known as “allowable expenses” and cover your expenditure for the day-to-day running of the property. These include, but are not limited to:
- Letting agent and management fees
- Legal fees for lets of 1 year or less
- Legal document fees
- Lease renewal
- Accountant fees
- Building and contents insurance
- Interest on property loans
- Maintenance and repairs
- Utility bills – such as gas, water and electricity
- Council Tax
- Advertising your property
- Cleaning and gardening services
You can also claim tax relief on the replacement of “domestic items” in your property. This includes:
- Crockery and cutlery
The domestic item must have only been bought for tenant use and the item that is being replaced must no longer be used at the property.
If you do not claim any expenses, the first £1,000 of your rental income is tax-free, otherwise known as a “property allowance”.
Digital tax on the horizon for landlords: read more.
How do I calculate my tax?
To figure out how much you tax you will pay, you simply need to add together your allowable expenses and take them away from your total rental income. If you have made any losses, you should deduct these from your total rental income.
When do landlord tax returns need to be submitted?
You must complete a new self-assessment form and fill out a new tax return every financial year. For paper forms, the deadline is usually the last day of October. For online submissions, the deadline is the last day of January.
To make things clear, the last day for online submissions is for 2018/19 is 31 January 2020. For the 2019/20, the online deadline is 31 January 2021.
Once you have sent off your landlord tax return, you’ll then have to pay your tax. This deadline is the same as the date for online submissions: the 31st of January.
So, there you have it. Landlord tax returns explained. Hopefully, now you’re feeling ready to fill in that self-assessment and tackle your taxes head on. If you’re still unsure or simply don’t have the time to work out the numbers, you can always get an accountant to do it for you!
If you need some additional advice regarding your responsibilities as a landlord, please feel free to visit our website or call us on 0333 577 8888.
Landlords also have to pay Stamp Duty Tax on buy-to-let purchases. Find out how much Stamp Duty you’d pay using our Landlord Buy-to-Let Calculator.