Our fun, or at least useful, self-assessment guide for Landlords

How do you know you've got a good tax accountant? He’s had a loophole named after him.

Plenty more awful jokes where that came from in this office, a-thank-you. We know, sorting out your tax affairs is a potent mix of fear and tedium, but it’s also entirely necessary. Particularly so if you are a landlord in need of a self-assessment. I know what you’re thinking, but we can get to your intimate health checks later… We’re talking about your tax return, divided here into small manageable chunks of boringness. Fun police assemble! 

The Form

Let’s begin at the beginning shall we. If you haven’t already done so, you’ll need to register for self-assessment in order to complete your tax return form. If possible, we’d recommend doing this online as paper forms are to be scrapped in coming years. For those of you who have, or intend to, register as a limited company you will need to register for Corporation Tax. We’ll be publishing an article about the pros and cons of running your portfolio as a limited business very soon, but in the meantime please feel free to call Alex, our Director of Lettings, on 0207 272 0986 if you’d like some advice on the matter.  

The Deadlines

For the more organised, perhaps slightly more traditional among you, your paper tax return date for 2019-20 tax year would be the 31st October 2020. For the last-minute technophiles, your online tax return date for 2019-20 tax year is the 31st January 2021. 

Then comes the most exciting and fun part of paying the tax bill in question. For both paper and online returns, the deadline for paying tax owed would be the 31st January 2021. Woohoo. Give yourself a pat on the back and throw a meagre party for one.

The Tax Return

Throughout the year, remember to keep a record of every (business relevant) little thing you’ve ever parted with sweet cash for. Become one with your inner Scrooge and file away every bus ticket, contractor invoice and stationery receipt – just in case you can deduct it from your looming tax bill. What with everyone slowly become self-employed and post-apocalyptic, no one will judge / care that you’re insisting on taking the VAT receipt for that coffee you just bought during your meeting with your property adviser (we like a vanilla latte, no sugar because we’re sweet enough).

Another small and nerdy tip for you; keep a note of your UTR when you get it. Again, not part of the intimate health check we discussed earlier. This is your unique tax payer reference and you’ll find it on emails and letters from HMRC rambling on about this very issue we are gathered here to discuss (don’t bin these love notes from the Government; don’t bin your receipts; basically don’t bin anything all year). 

The Expenses

So, on to the vaguely more interesting bit of what you can actually claim. From the top, you can expense repairs and maintenance fees for your property, replacement of domestic items, accounting fees, insurance and running costs as well as letting agent fees, light and heating costs, service charges, ground rent, cleaning fees and advertising bills depending upon what your tenant pays for themselves. For more information on what you can claim see this handy Which? article here.

Tax Changes to Note

Let’s talk about tax changes that may or may not be suddenly announced by the Government as they appear to enjoy doing so every now and again with no warning. You will likely be aware of the more recent ban on tenant’s fees, deposit caps and the introduction of three-year leases for example. Keep up to date with any  forthcoming shifts online or by asking one of our lettings team, and don’t forget to report them to your doctor. Sorry, wrong thread. 

Free Help

If you fancy a more in depth look at how to file your expenses, you can book yourself onto a gov.uk expenses-explained online session. What’s more, these super cool tax webinars are 100% free and help you understand your expenses through online meetings and chats. You can register for any upcoming events here. We know how we’d like to spend our Friday evenings…

The Truth

It’s true, tax returns are both inescapably dull and they can be tricky. But you can find yourself with a hefty fine or two if you make a careless mistake. We recommend having a read of the gov website for more information and help to avoid any mishaps, or working with a reputable accountant or bookkeeper – which could save you time, aggravation and even money in the long run. If you’d like us to put you in touch with a qualified accountancy firm experienced in Landlord tax returns, or if there’s anything else we can help with please do get in touch. 

alex@daviesdavies.co.uk – Lettings Manager (contact for lettings and property management)
mark@daviesdavies.co.uk – Sales Manager (contact for sales, new homes and chartered surveying)

020 7272 0986
Davies & Davies Estate Agents, 85 Stroud Green Road, London, N4 3EG

Article by Sophie  Taylor at Barefaced Studios
Photography by Odera Okoye at Barefaced Studios

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020 7272 0986

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85 Stroud Green Road,

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