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The rent-a-room scheme is a set of special rules designed to help homeowners who rent-a-room in their home. If you are using this scheme, you should ensure that rents received from lodgers during the current tax year do no exceed £7,500. The tax exemption is automatic if you earn less than £7,500 and there are no specific tax reporting requirements. If required, homeowners can opt out of the scheme and record property income and expenses as usual.
The relief only applies to the letting of furnished accommodation and is used when a bedroom is rented out to a lodger by homeowners in their home. The relief also simplifies the tax and administrative burden for those with rent-a-room income up to £7,500. The limit is reduced by half if the income from letting accommodation in the same property is shared by a joint owner of the property.
The rent-a-room limit includes any amounts received for meals, goods and services provided, such as cleaning or laundry. If gross receipts are more than the limit taxpayers can choose between paying tax on the actual profit (gross rents minus actual expenses and capital allowances) or the gross receipts (and any balancing charges) minus the allowance – with no deduction for expenses or capital allowances.
The Rent a Room Scheme lets you earn up to a threshold of £7,500 per year tax-free from letting out furnished accommodation in your home. This is halved if you share the income with your partner or someone else.
You can let out as much of your home as you want.
The tax exemption is automatic if you earn less than £7,500. This means you do not need to do anything.
If you earn more than this, you must complete a tax return. You can then opt into the scheme and claim your tax-free allowance. You do this on your tax return.
You can choose not to opt into the scheme and instead record your income and expenses on the property pages of your tax return.
You may need to calculate the tax effects of both options if your gross rental income from letting a room or rooms at home is more than £7,500.