If you let a furnished room or rooms in your only or main home, you can choose to join a rent a room scheme. This allows you
to receive the first £4,250 a year tax free, or £2,125 if you are letting jointly. But you cannot claim expenses on running the
property or any capital allowances.
- You can join the rent-a-room scheme even if you are renting the property yourelf: you do not have to own it, but you do need
to operate within the terms of the lease (which may specify that you cannot have a lodger).
- If you have a mortgage, check whether renting out a room is within the insurere's terms and conditions.
- You have to include any extra sums, such as charges for meals, cleaning or laundry to give a total figure for receiptsfrom
If you dont' normally receive a tax return and your receipts are below the tax free thresholds, you do not have to do anything.
If your receipts go above the threshhols, you must tell the tax office.
So, for example, three joint owners could claim £6,375 between them.
Anything you charge your tenants for food, hous-keeping, laundry must be added to the rent received when you calculate your gross rents, and you can’t deduct expenses.
If you receive more than £4,250 (or £2,125) you can choose either to :
- A: pay tax on your profits in the normal way for a rental business (by paying tax on your actual profit after deducting expenses); or
- B: pay tax on your gross income less the £4,250 (or £2,125) limit, with no allowance for expenses.
To work out which method is best for you, calculate your expenses. If they are less than £4,250 (or £2,125) you’ll be better off with method B.
If he stays in the rent-a-room scheme, over a year £4,250 of Jane’s rent will be tax-free. That leaves £1,150 to be taxed at Norman's's top rate of tax, which is 20%. So he pays tax of £230 on Jane’s rent for the year.