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Letting a room through Airbnb? HMRC tracks your income & data!

Letting a Room through Airbnb? HMRC Tracks your Income!

Letting a room through Airbnb? HMRC tracks your income & data!

Back in late 2015, we forewarned that HMRC was planning to force on-line companies like Airbnb to share customer income data with them. That plan has come to fruition and HMRC is now receiving detailed information from Airbnb and other online providers. The data will tell HMRC about lettings income that may have been previously falling under their radar.

Airbnb is an on-line marketplace where people can rent out rooms, cottages, apartments and suchlike to those looking for short-term accommodation, city breaks, holidays or lower cost alternatives to hotels and overnight business stays.

We understand that various on-line providers, including Airbnb, are now exchanging information with HMRC. HMRC then uses their analytical tool “Connect” to track and monitor income from such sources. This powerful application was developed by BAE Systems and is the most advanced data gathering tool HMRC has at its disposal.

So, if you let property or a room on Airbnb, you can expect detailed information to be passed to the Revenue about your letting activities and the income it generates. While you may currently be able to earn up to £7,500* per year tax-free for furnished accommodation under the Government’s ‘Rent a Room Scheme‘, care needs to be taken to submit a tax return and pay tax on any income received once you have gone over that limit. Higher rate taxpayers also need to take care if their rental income pushes them into a higher tax bracket.

In order to qualify under the Rent a Room Scheme:

  • The room must be furnished;
  • The relief cannot be used if you let your home whilst living abroad;
  • The accommodation provided cannot be office space or business space.

Changes arriving in 2019:

HMRC recently held a consultation with relevant professionals and the public about whether the scheme should continue in its present form. Following this, they have announced that the scheme will be more restricted; landlords who do not live in their “main residence” at the same time as their tenants will probably no longer be able to claim “rent a room relief” from 6 April 2019.

Tax Help & Advice for Lettings Income

If you need our help handling your lettings tax needs, Taxfile is here to assist you. We’re tax experts and can guide you through the maze of rules and regulations concerning lettings, renting out accommodation, tax thresholds, knowing when it’s appropriate to work under the Rent a Room Scheme, whether you can claim expenses and so on. Book an appointment at your nearest Taxfile office: for Tulse Hill in London SE21 book an appointment on-line here; book here for Dulwich in SE21; for Battersea in SW8 book your appointment here or for Exeter and the South West, book your appointment here. We also have tax advisers who are available in other UK locations including Poole in Dorset, Carlisle, Yorkshire and Plymouth. Alternatively, simply call 0208 761 8000 or send us an email here and we’ll be happy to help to get you on the right track.

Learn more about our services to landlords and those earning an income from property lettings here.

* Correct for tax years 2016-17 and 2017-18. For tax year 2015-16 the threshold was only £4,250. Also note that the current year’s threshold reduces to £3,750 if someone else, for example a joint owner, receives lettings income in the same property.

Tax credits renewal deadline is just days away!

Tax Credits Renewal Deadline Just Days Away – Don’t Miss Out!

Tax credits renewal deadline is just days away!

If you’re claiming tax credits and haven’t yet renewed, then you’d be wise to pay very close attention to the following …

Don’t Miss Out

Tax Credits are payments made to eligible people with children and/or very low incomes. Examples include Tax Credits and Child Tax Credits and the payments are made by the UK Government. However, the scheme rules are complex and part of that includes a strict renewal process, with a built-in deadline.

Renewal Deadline

Alarmingly, even if you are already claiming tax credits, there’s a high likelihood that your payments will cease completely unless you take proactive steps to renew your claim to them by 31st July* 2018 — that’s just a few days away at time of writing, so there is no time to lose.

* If your renewal pack states a different deadline, then that applies instead of 31st July in your case.

How to Renew Tax Credits

If you are claiming tax credits, you will be sent a renewal pack.

If your renewal pack has a red line across the first page, then you will need to send a reply.

Note that you can only renew your claim once you have received your renewal pack. Having received the pack, you should then ideally renew your tax credits online although see below for other options.

Automatic Renewal

If your form shows the code ‘TC 603 R’, you do not need to send a reply and your tax credits will be renewed automatically. However, you must make sure that you check the form carefully in case any of your details are incorrect. Should you fail to report any errors or to confirm any changes in your circumstances, your tax credits could stop or you could receive a fine. You can report errors and changes in circumstances using the Tax Credits Online Service.

Online Renewals

Renewing online is HMRC’s preferred method of renewal, via the Gov.UK website.

Telephone Renewals

To renew your claim to tax credits via telephone, simply contact the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 or textphone: 0345 300 3909.

Postal Renewals

You can also renew your tax credits claim by post. Send your claim to: Comben House, Farriers Way, Netherton L75 1AX. Make sure that your renewal claim arrives by 31 July and we also recommend sending by recorded delivery so you have some proof of the arrival date.

What Next?

You should hear back from HMRC within Read more