Perhaps you’ve landed on this post because you’ve just acquired a property that you’re looking to rent out, and don’t know where to begin. Or perhaps you’re no stranger to the rental market, but you want to be absolutely sure that you’re getting the best deal on your rental tax each year.

Whatever the reason, we’ve got good news for you: it’s very likely that you can actually pay less on rental tax than expected. Why? The current withholding tax on rent gives you flexible options that can help you save on tax. Don’t worry it’s not as complicated as you might think it is – we’re here to talk you through it.

What’s the situation?

The rate of tax on income from rented properties has been reduced from a maximum of 35% to a flat rate of 15%. This rate is calculated on gross income, meaning the income you receive before deducting any expenses. If you’re an individual that opts for the 15% rate, you’re not required to declare this income in your tax return, as it’s filed separately.

Both individual taxpayers and companies are eligible to use the 15% flat rate, and it is applicable on income arising from the rent of both residential and commercial properties, including garages.  However, the 15% flat rate does not apply to properties that are rented out to related parties. Who qualifies as a related party? A related party is basically anyone who owns 25% or more of the property.

What’s the big secret?

A little known fact is that the 15% tax rate is completely optional, meaning that you can identify whether or not it’s beneficial to you from year to year, and apply for it as needed. You can always choose to declare the net rental income in your tax return and be charged with the normal rate instead. This would be especially beneficial to you in the case that you or your company has obtained a bank loan so as to finance your property. In this case, some expenses can be claimed back, such as ground rent, MTA license fees, loan interest, plus a further 20% maintenance allowance. With this, your final rental income will be heavily reduced, meaning that it may be more advantageous to add this income to your total income, versus applying a completely separate 15% withholding tax on top.

How can you apply?

If you or your company wish to use the 15% rate, all you need to do is fill in Form TA24, found on the Inland Revenue website. The form will ask you to include details about yourself or your company as the taxpayer, as well as details about the property being rented out. You should also include the gross income received from each of your properties.

Once you fill out the form, you need to submit it to the Commissioner for Revenue by not later than 30th April of the year following the year of income. This means that if you’re filing your 2020 income, you need to do so by 30th April 2021.

How can we help?

You should weigh your options to figure out whether it pays you to apply the 15% tax rate after all. That’s where we step in. We can also help you prepare and submit the compliance document required and fill out the form to apply for the 15% tax regime. What’s more, we’re always available to help you or your company prepare your annual tax return.

Keep in mind that taking action will work out in your favour. After all, should you or your company neglect to declare income from rent, you’ll be obliged to pay the full 35% tax rate along with any penalties and interests – followed by an investigation carried out by tax authorities. That’s no good, but we can help you get your ducks in a row to make sure that never happens to you. Get in touch with us now!

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