select
|

Tax tips for landlords

Owning a rental property portfolio that provides an income is much like owning a business, and as such there are tax implications and dues that need to be paid to the South Africa Revenue Service.

According to Adrian Goslett, Regional Director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, landlords are required to declare the total amount of rental income received as gross income and they will be taxed at the marginal Income Tax Rate, applying to the owner of the home. The below table is a guideline of the personal tax rates that are currently applicable in South Africa:

Personal Tax Income Rate 2017/2018

 

R0 - R189 880

18% of each R1

R189 881 – R296 540

R34 178 + 26% of the amount above R189 880

R296 541 – R410 460

R61 910 + 31% of the amount above R296 540

R410 461 – R555 600

R97 225 + 36% of the amount above R410 460

R555 601 – R708 310

R149 475 + 39% of the amount above R555 600

R708 311 – R1 500 000

R209 032 + 41% of the amount above R708 310

R1 500 000 and above

R533 625 + 45% of the amount above R1 500 000


 
Goslett notes that while landlords are required to declare the total income acquired through letting out their property, there are certain deductions that can be made, such as a non-capital expense. A landlord is obliged to incur expenses during the period that the property is let out. “Deducting the non-capital expenses from the landlord’s tax return will reduce the taxable income and possibly put the landlord in a lower tax bracket, which will be of benefit to them,” says Goslett.

He notes that examples of non-capital expenses include the following:

- Rental agent’s commission or fees for securing a tenant
- Advertising costs of marketing the property
- Insurance fees, levies, municipal rates, water and electricity
- Interest paid on the home loan if applicable
- Cleaning costs, garden services and security
- If the property is furnished, the depreciation of the furniture’s value can be deducted
- Legal fees incurred from disputes with tenants – this includes the eviction of tenants
- Repairs and maintenance costs – this does not include improvements to the property

Goslett says that expenses that are regarded to be of a capital nature cannot be deducted. These would include any expenses incurred while renovating or adding on to the property.  “If the tenant has moved out of the property and the landlord decides to make repairs to the home to sell it, these expenses cannot be deducted as they did not happen while the tenant occupied the property,” he adds.

If the total of the deductions exceeds the rental income received by the landlord and they wish to declare a net rental loss, the Income Tax Act contains a ring-fencing provision that may come into play depending on the circumstances. If the provision does apply, the landlord will not be able to offset their rental losses against income received from other sources.

Goslett warns that evading paying tax on rental income will see the landlord in deep financial water. “Rental agents are obligated to provide SARS with a record of the rental income received and paid over to the landlord. As a result, it is very easy for SARS to find any discrepancies in the landlord’s tax return. If found out evading tax after notification of an audit, the landlord could be facing a hefty penalty or worse - imprisonment,” he explains. 

In conclusion, Goslett says that all rental income should be included in the landlord’s taxable income. However, reducing it by the relevant expenditure will assist the landlord to reduce the amount of money that leaves their back pocket.


  Comment on this Article

  Please login to post comments

Post to my facebook wall
  
2000
Characters remaining


    Latest Property News
    • 23 Nov 2017
      As the holiday season approaches, most of us are counting the days until that year-end bonus hits our account. There’s nothing quite like a little bank balance booster to get us in the holiday spirit.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      The Adelphi Centre (now entitled “ARTEM") in Sea Point, Cape Town, is being extensively renovated, and once complete will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.
    • 23 Nov 2017
      If you are looking to sell your home in today’s real estate market, there are certain things that you need to include both inside and outside your house. Today’s generation of home buyers is looking toward a more eco-friendly, energy and water conscious home, and if your house stands out then you are more likely to be able to sell it.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      Most people know of the Community Schemes Ombud Service (CSOS) and that levies must to paid to fund its operations. In this article the experts at Paddocks will address some of the issues that are causing confusion.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      While sales have noticeably slowed in most sectors in most Cape town suburbs, the security estate sector in Constantiaberg has bucked the trend by remaining buoyant, with sales by August this year already surpassing total sales in 2016.
    • 22 Nov 2017
      The end of the year is fast approaching, and so are all the travellers, tourists and holidaymakers. For those who live near or own a property in a holiday-hotspot, the festive season also brings with it an abundance of short-term rental opportunities. Its a great way for property owners to make a few extra rand for their own holidays or to put towards their savings.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      The buying process is over, and the moving truck has delivered your household goods to your new property. Now it’s time to unpack and turn your new house into a home.
    • 21 Nov 2017
      When an offer to purchase a property is signed by both buyer and seller, this constitutes a binding agreement or “Deed of Sale” between the two parties. However, in most cases the “standard contract” might not be enough to cover all the specifics pertaining to the sale. The agreement may require some additions or alterations to clauses, which needs an expert hand in the drafting of such
        
    X
    Subscribe to the MyProperty Newsletter

    Name  
    Last Name  
    Email Address  
    Email Frequency
    select
    X
    Share this Page

       
    For Sale Property
    Rental Property
    More Options
    About
    Connect with us
    FEEDBACK