Deadline for tax returns looms for landlords

Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 10:27 am
Updated Tuesday, 10th October 2017, 11:40 am

Landlords who choose to file a paper tax return must do so before the end of October.

Whether the tax return is completed on a self-assessment basis or is for HMRC to work out how much tax is owed, the strict deadline is October 31.

Those who file their tax return online have until January 31, 2018, to do so, and from April 2020 landlords will be among the first group of people required to submit rental turnover and expense detail digitally each quarter.

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Daniel Dowling, technical and compliance director at property specialist Leaders, said: “Maintaining accurate and up-to-date tax records is a must for all landlords, as HMRC takes this matter very seriously and has the ability to impose penalties on those who fail to submit a tax return on time.

“It is also important to remember landlords can take advantage of a number of tax allowances that ensure they do not overpay.

“We would also urge landlords to make sure they are on track to switch to the digital system by April 2020 and prepared to submit a quarterly report of rental income thereafter. Anybody with any concerns or who would simply like to alleviate the burden on themselves should get in touch as Leaders can complete much of a tax return on behalf of our landlords.

Paper tax returns must be filed this month and online tax returns no later than January 31, 2018.

Landlords can receive tax relief against a number of items. It is worth taking full advantage of this to minimise tax payments and maximise rental profits. Tax deductible items include:

. Letting agents’ fees

· Buildings and contents insurance

· Accountants’ fees

· Ground rent/service charges

· Maintenance and repairs to the property

· Utility bills

· Council tax

· Interest on property loans

Landlords must file accurate tax returns on or before the deadlines. Failure to do so will result in a fixed penalty of £100, rising to a daily £10 fine once a tax return is more than three months’ late.

Some landlords do not have to file a tax return. For instance, those whose rental income does not exceed £2,500 per annum may not be required to do so, although they will still need to disclose their total income to HMRC.

If required, Leaders offers a dedicated service for landlords that issues a pre-completed form in an identical format to HMRC’s Self-Assessment form, making it easy for landlords to submit their tax details.