Sabtu, 20 Juni 2009

A Tax-Free Income From Renting Your Spare Room

So you need an extra source of income, and you need it NOW! Do you have extra space in your loft? Could you convert your loft into an extra room for letting out? Or do you have a spare room available that you could use?

Consider the Rent-a-Room Scheme.

Not everyone is aware that under the Rent-a-Room Scheme a UK Taxpayer is entitled to let out a room in their house to a tenant. And what's more the income from that room (at the time of writing) would be tax-free up to a maximum of £4,250 per year (which is £354 per calendar month) in the UK.

This scheme is for qualifying individuals only. It does not apply to companies or partnerships. The above tax allowance limit would be shared if the room were let jointly by civil partners (where there is no partnership) or husband and wife. You would not be eligible for this tax relief if the room were to be let as an office or for storage. Only residential accommodation would qualify.

The part of your home rented out could be a single room, or a whole floor of your house, providing it's let furnished, and is not a separate flat that you rent out. If that were the case you would pay tax in the usual way.

Your own home can be owned by you, or rented by you. Providing you have your landlord's written agreement there's no reason why you, as a tenant, shouldn't join the Rent-a-Room Scheme by sub-letting a room.

There is one very important point to remember. You need to let your Mortgage provider know, and you must also remember to let your Insurance Company know you have a paying tenant, or your cover could become void should the worst happen and you have to make a claim.

It's essential to keep an accurate note of all rent you receive. Also keep an accurate note of your expenses, together with all receipts. These should be kept for at least six years.

Could there be another way?

However, there may be an advantage to paying your Income Tax in the normal way. Say you spent money on renovating the loft, then you could deduct your expenses from any income you received by renting the accommodation out. However under the Rent-a-Room Scheme you would not be able to do this.

You could opt-out of the Scheme and complete your tax return in the normal way, declaring the letting income, but this would then be offset by your expenses. You may find this to be a more practical and financially viable way forward.

So you need to consider all your options before making your choice.

Maggie Gee is a UK based Internet marketer, offering help for the real beginner. She is specialising in Article writing, and is never very far from the keyboard! If you found the above article useful, find more information at:

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