The tax implications for the leasing of property can be complex. For your information, we set out the basic TAX implications for the leasing of property.
For the landlord:
- All income received from rental of a property is of a revenue nature and has to be declared as part of a landlord’s gross income.
- Deductions are available, such as: interest on bond repayments, repairs and maintenance, municipal rates and taxes, letting agent’s fees (if applicable), and expenses not recovered from the tenant, such as security, utilities or garden services. In the case of a sectional title scheme, the levy is also deductible.
- In order for the deductions to be allowed the expenditure must have been actually incurred in the production of income and not be of a capital nature. The landlord must effectively be able to satisfy SARS that he is carrying on a bona fide trade through the rental of his property.
- The cost of improvements, reconstructions or additions to the property cannot be deducted, as these expenses are of a capital nature. Improvements made to leasehold property in terms of a lease agreement by the tenant must be included in the income of the landlord. Either the stipulated amount or a fair and reasonable value will be included. There may be relief available for the landlord, in terms of Section 11(h) of the Income Tax Act.
For the tenant:
- The tenant can claim the rental expense as a deduction for tax purposes if the rental payment or expenditure was actually incurred in the production of income.
- If improvements are made to leasehold property in terms of a lease agreement by the tenant, these must be included in the income of the landlord. Either the stipulated amount or a fair and reasonable value will be included.
- The tenant may deduct such expenditure over the period of the lease. The landlord may be entitled to discount the value of the improvements over the period of the lease or 25 years, whichever is the shorter.
Should you have any queries regarding the above do not hesitate to contact us for professional advice in this regard.