Taxes when letting a property

When you’re letting a property, you will need to pay tax on the profits you make. The tax due is different depending on whether the property is personally owned or company owned. Generally, private landlords will pay income tax and limited company landlords corporation tax on profits.

Personally owned properties

Income tax

When you own a property personally in your name, the rental profit is added to your other earnings (such as from your job) and taxed as income. Private landlords need to complete a self-assessment tax return if the income from their property is:

  • £2,500 to £9,999 after allowable expenses

  • £10,000 or more before allowable expenses

If you make between £1,000 and £2,500 per year, you must make HMRC aware in order to pay tax.

Income tax thresholds 2021/22

EarningsIncome tax rate
£0 - £12,750Tax free personal allowance
£12,750 - £50,270Basic rate 20%
£50,271 - £150,000Higher rate 40%
£150k +Additional rate 45%

National Insurance

If you are running a ‘property business’ and your profits are £6,515 a year or more you will also have to pay Class 2 National Insurance.

Company owned properties

Corporation tax

Holding property in a limited company can offer tax benefits. If you’re a higher rate taxpayer, or plan on owning multiple properties, you’ll especially find there’s a tax saving. Rental profits on properties held in a limited company are not taxed at your personal tax rate but the current rate of corporation tax, which tends to be around half of the higher rate of income tax.

Corporation tax rate

The corporation tax rate is currently 19% and it is calculated based on the taxable profits achieved by the end of the company financial year. HMRC’s definition of taxable profits includes:

  • Trading profits

  • Investments

  • Sold assets

Getting cash out of your company

There are several tax-efficient ways to extract cash from your property investment company.

  • Tax-free dividends: When taking money out of a limited company, shareholders are entitled to £2000 in tax-free dividends.

  • Taking a salary: You could pay a salary to yourself and other family members/partners etc.

  • Investment: As a director, you have the flexibility to choose what to do with the profits - invest in further properties, top up your pension or keep money in the business. This flexibility can help with your personal tax planning.

Tax-free property allowance

Landlords are entitled to £1,000 per year in tax-free property allowances. This means that if your annual gross income from your properties is £1,000 or less, you do not have to inform HMRC or declare this on a tax return.

Self-employed landlords (without a limited company) are also eligible for a tax-free trading allowance of £1,000. If the property is jointly owned, both parties are entitled to the £1000 property allowance.

However, this allowance can only be used in certain circumstances. You cannot use the property allowance if you:

  • claim the tax reducer for finance costs such as mortgage interest for a residential property

  • deduct expenses from income from letting a room in your own home instead of using the Rent a Room Scheme