“If you haven’t done so already, the first thing you need to do is register for self-assessment,” said Amer Siddiq, member of Landlord Syndicate and managing director of Tax Insider. “If you have been disorganised and not kept on top of what has been coming in and what has been going out over the last year, it would be a good idea to make a start now.”
There are certain expenses that can be deducted from rental income to reduce liability so landlords need to go over what they have spent over the past year and make sure they have receipts and relevant documentation.
Interest payments on the mortgage – The interest element of a loan or mortgage used to purchase the rental property can be deducted
Repair and maintenance – expenses such as plumbing and gardening or like for like replacements such as double glazing for single glazing, but not improvements
Wear and tear allowance – if a property is let furnished landlords can deduct 10% of the annual net rental income
Green measures – The Landlords Energy Saving Allowance (LESA) is a deduction for income tax purposes when energy efficiency investments are made to properties. It is open to all landlords who pay income tax and who let residential property until April 2015. Tax relief is for a maximum of £1,500 per property.
Fees and Bills – Utility bills, buildings/contents insurance and council tax can all be taken into account as well as letting agency, management and accountancy fees.
Additional costs – these may include anything involved with letting the property, e.g. phone calls, advertising, travel to and from the property and stationary costs
“There are important steps landlords can take as we enter a new financial year to ensure that next year’s tax return is an easier process,” Amer said. “If you really want to make life easier, ensuring good record keeping is key.
“Keep all receipts no matter how small, they all add up. Most importantly, set up a separate bank account so you can track what is going in and what is going out via your bank statements.”