Rent a room

The Rent A Room scheme was introduced in the early 1990s as a way of bolstering the small rentals market. Nowadays it might be an extremely useful option for anyone feeling the pinch on mortgage or rental payments in their own home.

In the normal rental market, rental income to the property owner is taxed as so-called “Schedule A” income – broadly speaking, gross income of the rental business minus expenses of the rental business equals taxable income. Generally, of course, the owner does not live in the property themselves. The Rent a Room scheme allows a property owner to rent out a room within their own residence to a lodger, and receive a set amount of the rental income without paying any tax on it. It can even be used by a tenant in a property to sub-let rooms (always provided the terms of the lease allows it).

The conditions to be met for Rent a Room are as follows:

l The room (or rooms) must be furnished.

l The property must be the only or main home of the person letting the room, whether they are an owner or a tenant.

l The cap on income which can be received tax free is £4,250 per annum. This is a gross amount, i.e. it includes any amounts received for services, such as meals, cleaning or laundry.

l If the gross receipts exceed £4,250, the owner/tenant can choose between paying tax on:

Method A

The actual profit (gross receipts minus actual expenses and capital allowances, as would normally be calculated under Schedule A)

Method B

Just the excess amount of gross receipts over £4,250, without any deductions under Schedule A.

l Methods A and B can be varied in each tax year, so there is no longer term commitment in choosing a particular calculation method. You can just choose the one that puts you in the best position in the current tax year. You can also opt out of the Rent A Room scheme in a particular tax year altogether. You may want to do this if you have actually made a loss, for example.

l Rent A Room cannot be used in relation to letting office space within a home, except incidentally as part of the rental (i.e. the Rent A Room lodger might be a student who studies at home).

l The cap is reduced to £2,125 per year if someone else is also receiving money for letting a part of the same property in the same year.

l There is a box to tick on the Self-Employment pages of the tax return to indicate that you wish to take advantage of the Rent A Room scheme.


Case Studies

The Tax Man

Minimise the stress of an investigation and make use of our extensive experience in securing best outcome for our clients

Business Valuation in Distress

Take advantage of our impartial and rigorous due diligence procedures

FD in The Cupboard

Our innovative ideas are here to improve your business performance and secure appropriate and cost effective funding

The Tax Man

The Tax Man

A new client was introduced to us via a recommendation with whom we arranged to meet on a regular basis in order to determine a number of changes that we felt were needed to their business structure. The client was at the time operating as a husband and wife partnership. The business was flourishing and had a number of large contracts with big organisations.

At the start of the process they were still heavily immersed in their day to day operations so we can get a full flavour for their ambitions, aspirations and growth plans. We quickly recognised there were sufficient tax savings which can be achieved by changing the structure from a partnership to a corporate entity. We carried out a business valuation and disposed of the goodwill from the old to the new business. Unfortunately, as often is the case with efficient tax planning, HMRC got involved and disputed our valuation.

An HMRC investigation can be a very stressful time for any client, even for those best prepared. However, our client had minimal input in the HMRC communication as we dealt with this professionally behind the scene. As an added benefit, our client could rest on the security that all work was covered by insurance and therefore all costs and time in dealing with this enquiry were covered by the fee protection policy we had put in place.

The initial approach taken by HMRC was very aggressive and they tried to present an argument that there was no goodwill in the business. We challenged HMRC’s view that the goodwill was worthless. After lengthy correspondence and numerous telephone calls, HMRC agreed 100% with our original valuation, which preserved our original tax saving plan for the client. Tax savings on this case where in the region of £75K at the outset, with ongoing savings of £6,000 per annum. We are pleased to add another happy client to our portfolio.

Business Valuation in Distress

Business Valuation in Distress

Selling a business is never an easy process, but when disputes arise, the need for a reliable third party due diligence process is even greater.

Tearle & Carver have extensive understanding of the requirements for remaining objective when managing a potentially difficult company buyout. In one such case, we were approached by the courts to act as independent accountant for an acrimonious business sale in which one partner was exiting the business and selling shares to the other. Given the circumstances, both sides had totally polar views of what their business was worth.

After arranging an initial meeting with the company, we were thorough in ensuring we completed due diligence, validating the figures in the accounting records, carrying out adjustments where appropriate, and drafting a set of reliable management figures within the framework required by the court.

A draft version of the report detailing our findings and conclusions was submitted to both parties, giving them the opportunity to voice any queries or concerns and ensure all relevant factors had been taken into account.

Through this process, we were able to submit a final report to the courts that was both binding and acceptable to both parties, effectively resolving what could otherwise have been a time consuming and costly process for all sides.

FD in The Cupboard

FD in The Cupboard

For smaller companies, it is often not possible or cost effective to pay for a full-time Financial Director.
Many of our clients therefore make use of Tearle & Carver’s extensive expertise to provide the services of an FD as and when required.

In this case, we were approached by the management team of an organisation looking to acquire the existing business via an MBO (Management buy out). Their business plan had proved ineffective for securing funding, and what they needed was financial expertise from someone with a developed understanding of the company’s internal workings.

Tearle & Carver helped deliver the solution our clients were looking through utilising our bank contacts in order to make the MBO viable, while also building a robust business plan and preparing our client for the rigorous vetting process. To help with cash flow issues, we introduced factoring which led to improved cash flow management.

We advised on the appropriate business valuation and structure, and continued to prepare monthly accounts to track profgress once the management were fully in command of all the information they needed to move their business forward.

In order to best assist these clients through the crucial first year of ownership, we attended board meetings on a regular basis, a service that we continue to provide to date.

With our continually developing understanding of their business, this client is able to remain confident that Tearle & Carver can provide any financial support they may need, now and in the future.