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Introduction to this document

Election for rent-a-room relief not to apply

Where you let part of your home, HMRC calculates the taxable income for a year by deducting a fixed sum from the rent etc. you receive. This deduction is called rent-a-room relief and is £7,500 (2017/18). However, if your apportioned running costs are more than this, you can elect for this relief not to apply.

Making the election

Where you own the property jointly this relief is halved. And where the relief is given you are not entitled to deduct other expenses related to renting the property, e.g. mortgage interest, repairs etc.

However, you can elect for rent-a-room relief not to apply to income for a tax year. This means that instead you can claim the actual expenses you have incurred. An election would be worthwhile where your running costs (including loan or mortgage interest) for a year exceed the rent-a-room amount. 

An election must be made by the second 31 January following the end of the tax year you wish it to apply for. For example, if you wanted the relief not to apply to 2017/18, you have until 31 January 2020 to make the election. You can withdraw an election within the same time limit.

A claim can be made as part of submitting your self-assessment tax return or it can be made separately, providing it is within the time limit.