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Example of a Tax Return for a Landlord: All The Information Landlords Need to Include in a Self Assessment Tax Return

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Being a landlord comes with its fair share of responsibilities - and one of the biggest is completing your tax return each year. If you make money from renting out one or more properties, you need to declare your income to HMRC, so that you can pay Income Tax and National Insurance on the profits. 

It might sound complicated, but as long as you’ve been keeping track of all the right information, submitting your tax return as a landlord is a pretty straightforward task. 

In today’s article, we'll share an example of what a tax return for a landlord looks like, take you through how to work out your income after expenses, and break down all the information you’ll need to declare and include when the Self Assessment deadline comes around each year. 

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What tax do I pay as a landlord? 

As a buy-to-let landlord, you’ll need to declare the income you’ve made from renting out properties (minus any allowable expenses) throughout each tax year. You’ll be charged Income Tax and National Insurance contributions on all the money you’ve made. 

You’ll also be subject to some other taxes as a buy-to-let landlord - such as Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) and Capital Gains Tax (CGT) - but you’ll only have to pay these when you buy or sell the property. 

How do I pay my tax as a landlord?

To pay this tax and declare your income, you’ll need to register for Self Assessment and complete a tax return before the deadline each year.

If you’re submitting paper forms to HMRC, you’ll have to fill in form SA100 (the regular Self Assessment form), as well as the SA105 form for landlords; a document that discloses your earnings from renting out your properties.

Here’s an example of what a paper SA105 form looks like:

However, if you’re completing your Self Assessment tax return online, you won’t have to fill the two forms out separately, as there will be chances to enter all the information on the above SA105 example when you respond ‘yes’ to digital questions about owning or renting out properties.

We’d definitely recommend submitting your Self Assessment tax return online, as it’s by far the fastest and most straightforward option.

How to report your income as a landlord in your tax return

In order to file your SA105 tax return, you’ll need certain information about your income and expenses throughout the year. It’s important to keep detailed records so that you have all the information ready when you have to fill in your tax return.

  • As well as having your Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR) to hand, you’ll need to let HMRC know:
  • How many properties you currently rent out
  • The dates you let your property
  • Any money you spent on the rental
  • The amounts received in rent
  • Any relief you currently claim (such as Rent a Room relief)

Throughout the year, you’ll need to keep as much documentation to prove these figures as possible, including:

  • Contracts
  • Documentation showing when you purchased the property
  • Receipts for necessary work as part of maintaining the property
  • Bank statements

We’d recommend speaking to a professional tax adviser if you’re unsure about any of the questions or terms in your Self Assessment tax return.

Deduct your allowable expenses

Remember - you’ll only be taxed on your net rental profits, which is your rental income minus the allowable expenses (deductions) related to your letting. If you end up not making any profit, there won't be any tax to pay. As a landlord, you can take away various allowable expenses from your income to calculate the profit you’ve made over the tax year.

The rules on what you can expense as a landlord can change year to year, so always contact a professional tax adviser if you’re not sure what you can and can’t deduct. But here are some of the main expenses that you won’t be taxed on:

  • Landlord insurance
  • Mortgage interest relating to the property
  • The cost of maintaining the property (not including any improvements to the property)
  • Estate agents’, accountants’ or solicitors’ fees

When you’ve determined which expenses you can claim, you can deduct these from your rental income to determine your profit.

Complete and submit your tax return

As we mentioned earlier, if you choose to submit a paper tax return, you’ll have to submit forms SA100 and SA105 (and possibly some others, depending on your situation). Submitting your tax return online is much easier, though, as the dynamic form will add and remove sections to make sure you disclose all the information that’s relevant to you.

Once you’ve submitted your Self Assessment, HMRC will work out how much Income Tax you owe and send you your tax bill. You’ll receive it in the post if you filled out a paper tax return, or in HMRC’s online system (under ‘View your calculation’) if you submitted your tax return online.

Final thoughts

Knowing how to handle your taxes as a landlord is essential for saving money, boosting profits and staying compliant with HMRC’s rules. Just remember to keep good records of what you earn and spend, submit your tax return before the deadline each year, and seek advice from a tax professional whenever anything feels unclear.

By doing these things, you can manage your rental property finances wisely, making your buy-to-let property a smart and profitable investment.

You might also find it helpful to check out our New Landlord Checklist; your quick guide to following all of your legal responsibilities as a landlord.

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Esther Lowde
Freelance Content Consultant
Updated on
January 22, 2024

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