The tax on rental income varies based on earnings exceeding the personal allowance. This comprehensive guide explores tax rates, deductible expenses, and obligations regarding rental income taxation in the UK, detailing calculations, exemptions, and consequences for non-compliance.

How Tax Works on Rental Income: A Breakdown

When a landlord receives payments from property letting, it’s crucial to assess if it’s considered gross income for tax purposes.

These payments include:

  • Rent payments received periodically (weekly, monthly, yearly).
  • Reimbursement for expenses like utility bills, repairs, or cleaning.
  • Non-refundable deposits and retained amounts from returnable deposits.

Establishing Rental Income and Allowable Expenditure

Once rental income is confirmed, landlords can evaluate allowable expenses.

Deductible Expenditure:

Costs incurred solely for the rental business, expenditure and not enhancing property value.


  • Letting agent and professional fees.
  • Legal fees for shorter leases or renewals.
  • Accountancy expenses related to the letting business.
  • Maintenance and repair expenses.
  • Utility bills (gas, electricity, water, council tax).
  • Insurance (building and contents).
  • Rent, ground rent, and service charges.
  • Advertising for new tenants.
  • Services like cleaning or gardening.
  • Stationery, postage, and telephone expenses.
  • Replacement costs for domestic items.

Utilizing Property Allowance

If yearly expenditure is under £1,000, landlords may consider claiming the property allowance.

Not applicable if receiving income from certain sources:

Companies owned or controlled by the landlord or their connections.

Partnerships involving the landlord or their connections.

Employers of the landlord, spouse, or civil partner.

Calculating Taxable Profit

Deduct total allowable expenditure or property allowance to determine taxable profit.

Methods for calculating taxable profit:

  • Cash basis(for simplicity).
  • Accruals method (for tax efficiency after yearly assessment).

Finance Costs and Relief

Landlords with finance costs like mortgage interest can seek relief. Relief isn’t a direct income deduction; instead, it’s a basic rate tax deduction.


  • Commercial properties or furnished holiday lets (FHL) where finance costs are deductible against income.

This breakdown simplifies the process of understanding taxation on rental income, ensuring landlords are equipped to handle their tax obligations effectively and efficiently.

How Much Tax Do You Have to Pay on Rental Income?

If your total earnings in a tax year are below the personal allowance, no income tax is payable on rental profit. Once surpassing the personal allowance, taxation occurs based on non-savings income tax rates linked to your income levels.

Impact of Property Allowance:

Rental income of £1,000 or less is covered by the property allowance, exempting it from income tax, regardless of other income earned beyond the personal allowance.

Rental Income Tax Rates in the UK? (From 6th April 2023):

Income Tax Band Taxable Income Tax Rate
Personal Allowance Up to £12,570 0%
Basic Rate £12,571 – £50,270 20%
Higher Rate £50,271 – £125,139 40%
Additional Rate Over £125,140 45%

Changes in Thresholds and Tax Rates:

Higher rates and additional thresholds have decreased, resulting in higher income tax payable at these rates.

Scottish Taxpayers' Variations:

Scottish taxpayers will have different non-savings rates. Refer to HMRC guidance for applicable rates.

Calculating Applicable Income Tax Rate:

Determine the rental profit's position within the income thresholds by totaling all non-savings income.

Types of Non-Savings Income:

  • Employment income (salary, bonuses, benefits in kind).
  • Pension income.
  • Trading profits exceeding the £1,000 trading allowance.
  • Taxable state benefits.
  • Trust and overseas income meeting the specified criteria.

Understanding the income tax bands and applicable rates for rental profits is crucial for landlords to accurately assess their tax liabilities based on their overall income and allowances.

When Do You Pay Tax on Rental Income?

Taxation on rental income is determined by various factors, primarily related to the amount earned, allowable deductions, and individual circumstances. The timeline for paying tax on rental income follows a structured process:

1. Earning Rental Income:

Taxation begins when you start earning income from renting out a property or properties.

Whether received weekly, monthly, or yearly, rental income becomes taxable when it meets specific thresholds.

2. Assessment of Tax Liability:

Evaluating your total rental income against the personal allowance is crucial.

If your yearly rental income remains below the personal allowance threshold, typically £12,570 (as of 2023/24 tax year), no income tax is payable on the rental profit.

3. Surpassing Personal Allowance:

Once you surpass the personal allowance, income tax becomes applicable on the rental profit.

Tax rates vary based on the income brackets – Basic Rate (20%), Higher Rate (40%), and Additional Rate (45%).

4. Property Allowance Consideration:

If your rental income remains within £1,000, it can be covered by the property allowance.

This means even if you exceed the personal allowance, income tax might not be payable on this rental income.

5. Tax Reporting and Calculation:

Proper tax reporting involves calculating your non-savings income, including rental income and other eligible earnings.

Understanding allowable deductions and expenses that can be offset against rental income is crucial to arrive at the taxable rental profit.

6. Submission of Tax Returns:

For landlords in the UK, declaring rental income involves submitting a self-assessment tax return to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC).

Accurate reporting of rental income, allowable expenses, and tax-reliefs is necessary within the specified deadlines.

7. Payment of Tax Due:

Paying tax on rental income typically aligns with the UK tax year, running from April 6th to April 5th the following year.

Any tax owed based on rental income must be settled by the payment deadline, usually by January 31st following the tax year-end.

8. Penalties for Non-Compliance:

Non-compliance with tax obligations, including inaccurate reporting or late payments, may lead to penalties or fines imposed by HMRC.

Understanding the nuances of when and how tax applies to rental income is crucial for landlords to manage their tax liabilities efficiently. It’s advisable to seek professional advice and ensure compliance with HMRC guidelines to avoid any potential penalties or issues related to tax payments on rental income.

What Is Considered UK Rental Income?

Understanding what constitutes taxable rental income is pivotal for landlords to accurately report their earnings to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). While not an exhaustive list, here are the primary sources of rental income subject to taxation

1. Rent Payments

  • Regular Rent:Income received from tenants occupying a property, whether paid on a weekly, monthly, or yearly basis, is considered taxable rental income.
  • Advance or Arrears:Any rent received in advance or arrears is also taxable when it becomes due and payable.

2. Reimbursements and Deposits

  • Reimbursement of Expenses:Money received for reimbursing expenses incurred by the landlord, such as utility bills, repairs, or cleaning costs, is taxable income.
  • Non-Refundable Deposits:Non-refundable deposits retained by the landlord are treated as part of taxable rental income.

3. Other Forms of Rental Payments

  • Additional Services:Any income derived from providing additional services to tenants, such as parking space rentals, laundry facilities, or additional amenities, constitutes taxable rental income.

4. Rent from Subletting

  • Subletting Income: If a tenant sublets part or all of the property to another individual, any income received from this subletting arrangement is considered taxable rental income.

5. Property Allowance Consideration

  • Property Allowance Limit: Rental income up to £1,000 per tax year may be covered by the property allowance, exempting it from income tax, but any amount exceeding this threshold is taxable.

6. Non-Monetary Payments or Benefits

  • In-Kind Payments:Non-cash payments or benefits received by the landlord in lieu of rent, such as goods or services, are also considered taxable rental income.

7. Rent Arising from Short-Term Lettings

  • Holiday Lettings:Income generated from short-term or holiday lettings, including platforms like Airbnb, is taxable and should be reported to HMRC.

8. Rent from Overseas Properties

  • Overseas Income:Rental income from properties situated abroad, meeting the criteria of UK taxation, is taxable and should be declared to HMRC.

9. Rent from Shared Properties

  • Jointly Owned Properties:When a property is jointly owned, the rental income received by each owner is taxable based on their respective share of ownership.

Understanding the various forms of rental income subject to taxation is essential for landlords to ensure accurate reporting and compliance with HMRC regulations. Seeking professional advice and maintaining detailed records of all rental income sources is recommended to navigate tax obligations effectively.

Steps to Complete a Tax Return for Rental Income

There are following steps to complete a tax return for rental income.

  1. Gather Financial Records
  2. Calculate Rental Income
  3. Deduct Allowable Expenses
  4. Report Income and Expenses
  5. Complete Tax Return
  6. Declare Additional Income
  7. Submit Tax Return
  8. Pay Tax Owed
  9. Keep Records

1. Gather Financial Records

Collect all documents related to rental income and expenses, including rent received, invoices, receipts, and bank statements.

2. Calculate Rental Income

Sum up all rental income received from tenants throughout the tax year, including any additional services provided.

3. Deduct Allowable Expenses

Subtract eligible expenses (such as maintenance, repairs, agent fees) from the rental income to determine the taxable rental profit.

4. Report Income and Expenses

Use the self-assessment tax return form provided by HMRC to report rental income and claim allowable deductions accurately.

5. Complete Tax Return

Fill in the relevant sections for rental income, expenses, and any other required information in the tax return form.

6. Declare Additional Income

Include any other sources of income or capital gains if applicable, ensuring all income is accounted for in the tax return.

7. Submit Tax Return

File the completed tax return online or via mail to HMRC before the deadline, usually by January 31st following the tax year-end.

8. Pay Tax Owed

If there's tax due on the rental income after deductions, ensure timely payment to HMRC by the specified deadline.

9. Keep Records

Maintain detailed records of rental income, expenses, and tax-related documents for at least six years after filing the tax return

Completing a tax return for rental income involves accurately reporting income and deductions, ensuring compliance with HMRC regulations to avoid penalties or fines.

What Are the Deductible Expenses for Rental Income?

  1. Letting Agent and Professional Fees:Fees paid to letting agents or professionals for managing properties.
  2. Maintenance and Repairs: Costs incurred for maintaining and repairing the property.
  3. Utility Bills:Expenses related to gas, electricity, water, and council tax.
  4. Insurance:Premiums for building and contents insurance.
  5. Legal and Accountancy Fees:Costs for legal advice or accountancy services related to the rental business.
  6. Advertising Costs:Expenses for advertising to attract tenants.
  7. Services (e.g., Cleaning, Gardening):Payments for services provided to maintain the property.
  8. Replacement of Domestic Items: Costs of replacing items used within the property.
  9. Mortgage Interest:Interest paid on mortgage loans for the rental property.

Understanding these deductible expenses helps landlords reduce their taxable rental income, thereby minimizing their overall tax liabilities.

What Expenses for Rental Income Are Not Deductible?

  1. Capital Expenditures:Costs that enhance the property’s value or improve its condition, such as renovations or significant upgrades.
  2. Personal Use Expenses: Any expenses incurred for personal use of the property, not directly related to the rental business.
  3. Non-Rental Property Expenses:Costs unrelated to the rental property, like personal utility bills or repairs for the landlord’s residence.
  4. Non-Allowable Costs:Expenses not directly associated with managing or maintaining the rental property.
  5. Fines and Penalties: Any fines or penalties imposed due to non-compliance or legal violations.

While the property’s value might depreciate over time, depreciation itself is not a deductible expense for rental income.

Types of Property Ownership and Their Tax Implications

1.     1. Sole Ownership

Tax Impact: The individual owner is solely responsible for reporting rental income and claiming expenses on their tax return.

2. Joint Ownership (Joint Tenants)

Tax Impact: Rental income and expenses are usually split equally among joint owners for tax purposes.

3. Joint Ownership (Tenants in Common)

Tax Impact: Owners can divide rental income and expenses unequally according to their ownership percentages.

4. Limited Company Ownership

Tax Impact: Rental income is subject to corporation tax, and expenses are deductible, but recent changes in tax relief on mortgage interest apply differently to limited companies.

5. Trust Ownership

Tax Impact: Tax rates for trusts vary, and trustees are responsible for reporting rental income and paying tax.

Each type of property ownership carries distinct tax implications, affecting how rental income is taxed and expenses are claimed. Understanding these impacts helps landlords choose the most tax-efficient ownership structure for their rental properties.

Buy-To-Let Mortgage Tax Relief

  1. Buy-to-let mortgage tax relief helps landlords navigate the evolving landscape of tax implications on rental income.
    • Changes in Tax Relief: Previously, landlords could deduct mortgage interest from rental income before paying tax. However, tax relief on mortgage interest is being phased out.
    • Transition to Basic Rate Tax Relief:Landlords can now claim a basic rate tax deduction on mortgage interest, gradually replacing the previous system.
    • Impact on Landlords:This change may increase taxable income, affecting higher-rate taxpayers who could face higher tax bills.
    • Phased Implementation:The transition to the new system began in April 2017 and will continue until 2020, impacting how landlords claim tax relief on mortgage interest.
    • Consider Professional Advice:Landlords should consider seeking professional advice to understand the implications and plan their finances accordingly.

Tax Implications of Selling Properties for Rental Purposes

1.     1. Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

Selling a property originally purchased for rental purposes may incur CGT on the profit made from the sale. CGT is calculated on the difference between the property's purchase price and the selling price, after deducting allowable costs and reliefs.

2. Private Residence Relief (PPR):

If the property was once the landlord’s main residence and meets certain criteria, PPR might apply, exempting or reducing the CGT liability.

3. Letting Relief:

Landlords who qualify for PPR might also benefit from letting relief, further reducing CGT on the sale of a property rented out.

4. Annual Exemption:

Individuals have an annual CGT exemption (£12,300 as of the 2021/22 tax year) before CGT is payable, which can reduce the tax liability.

5. Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT):

SDLT is not applicable when selling a property but may apply when purchasing a new property intended for rental purposes.

Understanding these tax implications helps landlords plan the sale of rental properties, considering potential tax liabilities and available reliefs or exemptions.

Declaring Losses on Rental Income

Declaring rental income losses allows landlords to optimize tax strategies, potentially reducing tax liabilities in the present or future tax years.

1. Losses from Rental Property

If expenses exceed rental income, resulting in a loss, landlords can declare this loss on their tax return.

2. Offsetting Losses

Losses can be offset against other taxable income in the same tax year or carried forward to future years.

3. Tax Relief

Utilizing losses can reduce overall tax liabilities, potentially resulting in lower tax payments.

4. Claiming Losses

Declare rental losses on the self-assessment tax return form provided by HMRC, ensuring accurate reporting.

5. Keep Records

Maintain detailed records of losses incurred, expenses, and relevant documentation for tax purposes.

How Can FCCA Accounts Help You With Rental Income Taxes

At FCCA Accounts, we provide valuable support in managing your rental income taxes. Our expertise extends beyond traditional accounting services to offer tailored assistance that optimizes your tax position regarding rental income.

Once your company is established, our offerings include a range of accounting services such as Bookkeeping Services in London, statutory accounts, London Payroll ServicesLondon VAT Return, payment runs, and purchase ledger management. Our strategic financial guidance goes beyond compliance, aiming to elevate your financial success by optimizing tax strategies related to rental income.


Navigating the taxation of rental income in the UK requires a comprehensive understanding of tax rules, obligations, and reporting requirements. Landlords must stay informed about current tax rates, allowances, and changes in legislation to manage their rental properties efficiently.


What Are Allowable Deductions for Rental Income Tax Purposes?

Allowable deductions include maintenance, repairs, agent fees, and more for rental income tax.

Is Rental Income Taxed Differently if the Property Is Jointly Owned?

Rental income taxation may differ based on joint ownership of the property.

Are There Any Exemptions for Short-Term Rentals or Holiday Lettings?

Short-term rentals or holiday lettings might have exemptions for tax purposes.

Can Mortgage Interest Be Claimed as an Expense Against Rental Income?

Yes, mortgage interest can typically be claimed as an expense against rental income.

What Happens if I Fail to Report My Rental Income to HMRC?

Failure to report rental income to HMRC may result in penalties or fines.