Properties have always been a relatively safe and sound option for investment. As a landlord, renting out your property can offer an alternative source of income in the form of rent and potentially give a good return on the initial investment through capital appreciation. However, if you’re looking for huge returns over a few days then property investment is unlikely to be your preferred choice. Nonetheless properties have historically been a low risk investment and have provided modest returns over the long term. Here are a few things to consider if you wish to maximise your rental income:
Deducting Allowable Expenses
You can reduce the amount of rental income that is taxable by taking advantage deducting allowable expenses. There more common expenses you can deduct are:
The costs should be wholly and exclusively incurred as a result of renting out the property. If a part of the expense meets this condition then that part can be deducted from income.
Saving costs can only have a positive effect as expenses are the only thing eating into your rental income. Try reviewing your costs on an occasional basis (once a quarter) and you may witness bargains that could help you save a lot of money. Service providers tend to offer sizeable discounts to new customers but only have stagnant prices for existing customers. Getting quotes from different companies that offer the same service can sometimes amaze you at how wide the price range can be. Just be sure you don’t jeopardise the quality of services just to save a few pennies.
Annual Investment Allowance
Expenses of a capital nature are not deductible. You cannot deduct from income the cost of the property you are renting out, expenditure that adds to or improves the property or the cost of renovating a property from a state that cannot be rented out.
However, capital spending can be deducted using the Annual Investment Allowance. From 1st January 2013 (until 1st January 2015), you can deduct up to £250,000 a year for many types of capital spending using the Annual Investment Allowance, such as commercial vehicles, business furniture, computers, machinery and tools. It would be beneficial to take advantage of the temporary rise in the Annual Investment Allowance as it is likely to revert back to around the limit of 2012/13 (£25,000) after January 2015.
Landlord’s Energy Savings Allowance (LESA)
Until April 2015, an allowance of up to £1,500 per let residential property can be claimed for the cost of loft, wall and floor insulation, draft proofing and hot water system insulation. The LESA was introduced to encourage landlords to improve the energy efficiency of let residential properties. These expenditures are usually not deductible from taxable income and are not eligible for capital allowances.
Wear and Tear Allowance or Renewals Allowance
For fully furnished properties, a wear and tear allowance can be claimed for furnishings such as beds, carpets and appliances. The allowance is 10% of the net rental income (gross rent minus utility bills, service charges and council tax) you receive from these properties.
With the renewals allowance, you can claim expenses of any furniture as you replace them. Any money you make from the disposal of the asset must be deducted and the cost of any improvements (e.g. an upgrade from a washing machine to a washer-dryer)
Note that you can only claim either the Wear and Tear Allowance or the Renewals Allowance but not both.
By Wilson Law at Tax Affinity.
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