Non resident landlord services

 

Written by Ray Coman

 

Non resident landlord services A landlord, regardless of where resident, is subject to UK tax on income and gains from UK property.  Many non-resident landlords will be entitled to a UK personal allowance.  This could result in no liability to income tax.  However, a non-resident landlord is still obliged to file a UK Tax Return.  On disposal of the property, a non-resident landlord is required to report a gain to HMRC within 30 days of completion.  The disposal could result in liability to capital gains tax.

 

What makes a person non-resident?

A non-resident’s liability to UK tax

Do non-residents have to complete a tax return even if there is no tax to pay?

Entitlement to the personal allowance

Liability to local taxes

Withholding of tax at source

Non-resident landlord scheme

Non-resident companies

Capital gains tax

Tax deductible expenses

Our service

 

What makes a person non-resident?

 

Broadly, UK residency is determined by the number of days a person is physically present in the UK.  A person is automatically not-resident who works outside the UK and is present in the UK less than 91 days a year.  A person is automatically resident if physically present in the UK for 183 days a year or more.  If not automatically resident or automatically non-resident, the determinants are too numerous to summarise succinctly.  The determinants of UK residency are explained in a separate guide on statutory residence

 

In the tax year of departure or tax year of arrival, it is possible claim the split year treatment.  This will apply if leaving the UK for a contract of work that last at least a complete tax year.  The benefit of the split year treatment is that the leaver or arriver will only be liable to UK tax on world-wide income for that part of the tax year in which present in the UK.  Further information can be read in the report on statutory residence.

 

A non-resident’s liability to UK tax

 

A non-resident is not liable to UK tax on most income.  Any income arising outside the UK is automatically outside the scope of UK tax.  Investment income, such as bank interest and savings, is disregarded.  Banks no longer automatically deduct tax on interest following the introduction of the savings allowance.  If tax has been deducted at source, it should be possible to arrange for interest to be paid gross.  The alternatives are to file a UK Tax Return.  If tax is due in any case, in the country of residence, a Tax Return requirement could be avoided where UK tax is available to reduce local, foreign tax.

 

For non-residents, the UK state pension and private pensions are not liable to tax.  As an exception, civil service pensions continue to be taxable.  Profits of a self-employed person not resident in the UK will not be liable to UK tax.

 

Employment earnings are liable to UK tax (section 27 ITEPA.)  A UK employer is obliged to operate PAYE if the product of an employee’s labour confers a benefit to the UK operations of that businessThe system of payroll aims to deduct the correct amount of UK tax and national insurance from pay.  A workday is a day in which a person works three hours or more, and employment earnings from a work day will be liable to UK tax regardless of the employee or director’s residence.  If the only income is from UK employment, and income is less than £100,000 a year, a Tax Return would not be required.

 

In conclusion therefore, it is probable that a non-resident will only be liable to UK tax on rental income arising from the UK.

 

Do non-residents have to complete a tax return even if there is no tax to pay?

 

In many cases, a personal allowance will be available and there could be no tax to pay.  However, a landlord still has to file a Tax Return even if there is no tax.  This is because it will be necessary to complete residency pages of the form.  The residency questionnaire would, as a minimum, state that a person is not UK resident, the basis on which the personal allowance is being claimed and the corresponding country code.  To join the non-resident landlord scheme, explained below, it is a condition that tax affairs are up to date.  The approval status could be withdrawn by HMRC for non-compliance.  The let property campaign disclosure would be suitable for non-residents who need to bring their affairs up to date without suffering unnecessary penalties.  The penalties are lower for an unprompted, or voluntary disclosure.

 

Entitlement to the personal allowance

 

Many non-resident landlords will be entitled to a UK personal allowance.  This includes UK nationals, EU citizens and residents of many other countries.  HMRC have confirmed that EU citizens will remain entitled to the personal allowance post Brexit.  Nationality is determined by the holding of a valid British passport or passport of the country to which that person has citizenship.

 

Certain jurisdictions do not provide a personal allowance under the terms of the double tax treaty with the UK.  The most significant are China and the USA.  Countries regarded as low tax jurisdictions (commonly known as tax havens) rarely confer eligibility.

 

Liability to local taxes

 

For a non-resident landlord, UK rental profits will be regarded as overseas income in that person’s country of tax residence.  It is therefore possible that UK income will be taxable in the country to which a person is resident.  It is also possible that any UK tax suffered at source would be available to reduce liability to local tax.  Coman&Co can only provide advice on a person’s liability to UK tax.  However, this observation is made in order that landlords liable to UK tax can assess whether this would increase their overall tax burden.  As a minimum, the possibility of tax relief merits further enquiry with a local tax advisor.

 

Withholding of tax at source

 

A non-resident landlord who is not part of the non-resident landlord scheme will have tax deducted at source.  Tax is withheld at the basic rate, which is 20% at the time of writing.  The letting agent withholds the tax and pays it over to HMRC.  For those landlords who do not use a letting agent, the withholding of tax is supposed to be operated by the tenant.  The tendency is for landlords to use letting agents especially if not resident.  In practice, it is exceedingly rare for a tenant to be obliged to carry out tax collecting.  This is because as explained below, most landlords will join the non-resident landlord scheme.  Letting agents are required to register and report to HMRC about their clients and any tax withheld on non-residents.

 

HMRC regard an individual as a non-resident landlord if abroad for more than 6 months a year, even if UK tax resident.  The 6-month rule is used to determine either deduction of tax at source from rents; or admission to the non-resident landlord scheme.  As a separate matter, liability UK is tax is determined by UK residency.  Typically, it will be necessary to be physically absent from the UK for more than 6 months to be a non- resident for tax purposes.

 

Non-resident landlord scheme

 

Tax withheld at source will be available to reduce any eventual tax liability.  For non-residents entitled to a personal allowance, this would probably result in a tax refund.  The reason is that tax is withheld at 20% but there is no tax liability on profits below the personal allowance.

 

On successful admission to the non-resident landlord scheme, a landlord will be eligible to receive rents gross.  The scheme therefore offers a cash flow advantage.  An application to join the scheme is made via form NRL1.  The form often completed by a letting agent, or tax adviser working on behalf of the landlord.

 

HMRC will approve a landlord on the basis that their tax affairs are up to date, or on the basis that they do not have any tax liability.  Where a landlord falls behind on filing of a Tax Return or payment of tax, the non-resident landlord scheme approval can be withdrawn.  Once regularised, the scheme can be reapplied for.

 

A letter of approval will be posted to the landlord and should be forwarded to the letting agent.  If not enrolled in the NRL scheme, a letting agent could already have deducted tax at source since the start of the tax year.  Once approved, the letting agent will often refund any tax deducted at source.  Any withheld tax not refunded by the letting agent would be deducted from liability on completion of the respective Tax Return.

 

Non-resident companies

 

A non-resident company receiving rental income from a property situated in the UK will be liable to UK corporation tax from 6 April 2020.  Previously such companies were liable to income tax.

 

Capital gains tax

 

Since 6 April 2015, all non-residents have been liable to UK capital gains tax.  It is possible to use market value in April 2015 instead of original cost to determine the chargeable gain. Many property owners will benefit from this rebasing where values have risen between date of purchase and 2015.  It is a requirement to report to HMRC within 30 days of completion date.

 

Tax deductible expenses

 

Liability to income tax is determined by rental profits.  Typical deductions from expenditure include: buildings insurance, service charge, letting agency and accountancy fees.  It is possible to deduct travel costs where exclusively for a business purpose.  A tax reducer is available for mortgage interest.  Where profits are less than the personal allowance, there is no tax benefit in claiming specific expenses, and it could be quicker to deduct the £1,000 allowance.

 

Our service

 

Coman & Co. are expert tax advisors for non-resident landlords.  We can assist with:

 

  • Applications to have rents deducted gross.
  • Preparation and filing of the annual UK Tax Return.
  • Advice on changing regulations and the best ways to minimise tax and avoid penalties.
  • UK residency for tax purposes.
  • Capital gains tax and inheritance tax implications of being non-resident.
  • Implications of joint ownership, for instance with a husband or wife.
  • We are well equipped to deal remotely and act as agent in dealing with HMRC on behalf of our clients.

Comments  

#6 Raphael Coman 2020-09-19 22:33
Sonia,

It is your letting agent that withholds the tax and pays it over to HMRC.

Please forward the non-resident scheme approval letter to your letting agent. Your letting agent are then obliged to stop withholding tax at source from your pay. Typically, in my experience the letting agent will then refund any tax withheld at source since the start of the tax year.

Therefore the sooner you send the approval letter to your letting agent the sooner you should obtain your Tax Return.

Any amount of tax that you have not been refunded by the year end can be included in your Tax Return.
Quote
#5 Sonia Simon Losada 2020-09-10 03:27
Thanks. I applied for the exception, but it was approved after HMRC took the 20 per cent. My query is: Can I get that money back now or do I have to wait until next year when I do my tax return?
Quote
#4 Raphael Coman 2020-09-09 21:59
Dear Sonia,

You are required to file a Tax Return every year. UK tax on rental profits is 20%. This applies for profits up to the higher rate tax threshold (£50,000 at the time of writing.) The 20% deduction at source takes place if you are not registered for the non-resident landlord scheme. I would therefore advise that you complete an NRL1 form. Unless you are behind on your taxes HMRC will approve you to join the non-resident landlord scheme. Give your reference number to your letting agent who will then stop deducting taxes at source.

The 20% is applied to gross rents. However, typically you can deduct costs from taxable rental profits such as letting agent fees, repairs and building insurance. There is also tax relief for mortgage interest payments.
https://comanandco.co.uk/taxation-of-interest-on-rental-property

Therefore even if you do not join the non-resident landlord scheme, you will quite likely be entitled to a tax refund when you file a Return.

Many non-residents are entitled to a UK personal allowance. This would further exempt you from tax and increase any repayment of tax withheld at source. https://comanandco.co.uk/uk-personal-allowance-for-non-residents
Quote
#3 Sonia 2020-09-07 07:17
Good morning

I would like to check if there is any way to claim back the taxs hold by HMRC as I am NON RESIDENT LAND LORD. HMRC took around 20 per cent of the rent paid to me by my tenant. I applied for an exception but it arrived after the agency sent the money to HMRC.

Thanks
Quote
#2 Ray Coman, FCCA, CTA 2015-11-10 16:57
Dear Sirs,

I would be please to provide you with a quotation. Please email:

Ray Coman, FCCA, CTA, Director
Coman & Co. Ltd.
Quote
#1 Wavy 2015-11-09 07:01
Dear Sir/Madam,

Good morning.
I am buying a buy-to-let property in the UK and the transaction will be completed on the early December this year. Thus, I am looking for an experienced tax accountant to help with tax advice and handle the UK Tax Return and related issues. Grateful if your company would provide me a quotation on the non-resident landlord services stating what services included.
Thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers,
Wavy
Quote

Add comment


Simple situations. Complex situations. If it goes on a Tax Return we deal with it. Contact us for a free, initial meeting.

Call us!