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Rent a Room Relief for business

Can I pay rent to my partner for renting a room for from her for business puposes. If I did pay her rent then she would have to declare the income. Could she deal with the income under the rent a room scheme. Please note it is not a joinrly owned property. She pays all the household costs


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It doesn't need to be a bedroom...

... but it does need to be "for the use of furnished accommodation".  So if you wanted to use her dining room to work from and there's a table and chairs that you can use as your desk, that seems to me to qualify.

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14th Sep 2011 15:04

I dont think that is correct

It cant be used for business purposes, renta room relief is residential only.

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14th Sep 2011 15:24

I agree

with Zara, see PIM4002

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... the property must be the main residence of the person receiving the "rent-a-room" receipts, but there's no requirement that the person paying them must be using the accommodation concerned for any particular purpose.

My quote "for the use of furnished accommodation" was taken from the legislation.  It's not just what I think is the case.

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Thank you

I wasn't aware of that HMRC interpretation.  Whilst I don't actually agree with HMRC's interpretation (if the law means a certain thing, it should say that thing, and it doesn't say what HMRC say it means), it does suggest that the claim the OP is considering would meet with aversity.  Given the low amounts involved, arguing with them obviously isn't worth the aggro though.

For what it's worth though, the point I'm making is that when I rent someone's furnished dining room, whether I eat from the dining room table, sleep on the table, or carry out my employment or trade at the table, the nature of the dining room doesn't change as HMRC suggest.  It is and remains (residential) accommodation in a residence, regardless of the use I choose to put it to.

The lessor doesn't lease an office, they lease their dining room, or their spare room (that might happen to have a desk in it).  I, the lessee, choose what use I put it to, but the nature of the accommodation is the same as it is when I'm not using it.  Nowhere in the legislation is it dictated how I have to use it, notwithstanding what parliament's intention may have been.

In the OP's situation, HMRC's point on "wholly and exclusively" a business expense is, however, a valid one.

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14th Sep 2011 17:31

Business use

Really the onus is on the individual claiming rent a room to prove if asked that the room is rented out to another private individual and used as residential accommodation.

HMRC's view is well known, otherwise us accountants would all be in there in an instant and rent rooms to our own practices.

Given that you can run a business using a mobile phone these days, then there may be some business use by the renter, depending on what they do. My top tip is to check out those you are renting to. It might be wise to ensure that your renters do not advertise the location as it would only take a search on Google for HMRC to detect that there was a business being run from the property and this could lead to big problems for the landlord.

Virtual tax support for accountants:

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05th Jan 2016 12:05



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