What is Rental Income?
According to the Revenue’s website, Rental income includes:
What about Local Property Tax?
According to Revenue, LPT is not a deductible expense against rental income under Section 97 TCA 1997.
According to the Thornhill Group, for Income Tax and Corporation Tax purposes, Local Property Tax should be deductible in a similar manner to commercial rates. Despite the fact that the Government has accepted this recommendation in principle no further details of when and how this deduction will take effect have been made available.
What is liable to Tax?
The net profit arising from a rental property is taxed at an individual’s marginal rate of tax being Income Tax plus PRSI plus Universal Social Charge.
In other words, tax is charged on the gross rents receivable less a deduction for all allowable expenses.
It is important to remember that a profit or loss computation must be carried out for each source of rental income.
The rental income on which tax is levied equals the total rental profits less the total losses from all rental sources combined.
Deductions in arriving at net profit include:
A deduction is also available for interest on monies borrowed for the purchase, or repair of the rental property.
For rented residential property, the allowable mortgage interest relief is restricted to 75% for the 2016 year of assessment and is dependent on the landlord registering the tenancy with the Residential Tenancy Board.
For the 2017 tax year, the mortgage interest deduction has increased from 75% to 80%.
The deductible amount will be increased by 5% every year from then on so that by 2021 100% of the mortgage interest will be deductable against the rental income received from qualifying residential lettings. In other words, the allowable rate will be 85% in 2018, 90% in 2019, 95% in 2020 and 100% in 2021.
The landlord may be able to claim 100% mortgage interest relief. To qualify he/she must:
a) rent out the residential property for three years to tenants receiving certain social housing supports and
b) be registered with the Private Residential Tenancies Board (RTB)
In situations where the rented residential property was purchased from the taxpayer’s spouse or civil partner, the interest will not be allowed as a deduction in computing the rental profits. This measure is aimed at preventing married couples and civil partners from generating interest by selling properties to each other and borrowing the necessary funds to do so.
How are Irish Rental Losses Treated?
In situations where a rental loss arises, it can be offset against the rental profit from another property. If there are insufficient profits for offset then it can be carried forward against future rental profits only.
The order of offset is very important. The landlord must use Capital Allowances first before offsetting the rental losses carried forward from an earlier year and it is not possible to carry rental losses back to a preceding tax year.
It is not possible to offset rental losses made by one spouse or civil partner against the rental profits of the other.
Losses arising from uneconomic rentals cannot be offset against other rental profits. Uneconomic rentals are defined as those where the expenses will always exceed the income of a particular rental source.
It is not possible to offset rental losses against income generated from other sources including salary, trade income, dividends, deposit interest, etc.
Please keep in mind that foreign rental losses can only be written off against foreign rental income.
What about Pre-Letting Expenses?
The general rule in tax legislation is that any expense incurred prior to the first letting of a rental property is not allowable. The reason being, that such expenses are not deemed to be expenses that relate to a particular lease. Therefore expenses incurred on buying furniture, painting and decorating the property, etc. before the first letting by its current owner and before the first occupancy by the tenant will not be allowable deductions.
There are, however, two exceptions based on the decision in Stephen Court Limited v Brown (HC 198/2 No 293 S.S.):
a) Advertising or marketing costs connected with the first rental of the property and
b) The legal costs incurred in drawing up the first tenancy lease for the rental property.
What is Rent-a-Room Relief?
If an individual rents a room or rooms in his/her sole or main residence and the gross income received does not exceed €12,000 for the 2016 year of assessment or €14,000 for 2017 onwards then no Income Tax, Universal Social Charge or Pay Related Social Insurance will be payable by that individual. In other words, if the rental income does not exceed the annual exemption limit in the year of assessment then the profit or loss arising on the rent will be deemed to be NIL.
Included in the annual exemption limits are payments from the renter/tenant for food, laundry or similar goods and services.
Where the income exceeds €12,000 in 2016 or €14,000 in 2017, the entire amount is taxable.
In situations where more than one individual is entitled to the rent, the annual exemption limit is divided between all the individuals concerned.
It is important to keep in mind that this relief is only available to individuals. In other words it does not apply to companies or partnerships which rent out residential properties.
This relief is available for both individuals who rent as well as individuals who own their own home.
Claiming Rent-a-Room Relief will not affect an individual’s entitlement to mortgage interest relief or Principal Private Residence Relief on the disposal of his/her sole or main residence.
Income from Rent-a-Room must be included in an individual’s annual Tax Return under “Exempt Income.”
The Rent-a-Room Relief will not apply where a child pays rent to a parent.
The Rent-a-Room Exemption is not compulsory. An individual may elect to have any rental profits or losses from this source assessed under the normal Case V Schedule D rules for rental income.
Filing a Tax Return
All individuals in receipt of rental income must declare this information in his/her annual tax return on or before 31st October in the year following the year of assessment.
If the rental profit is less than €5,000 it can be declared through the Form 12.
If, on the other hand, the net rental income is over €5,000 the individual will be obliged to register for Income Tax and declare his/her rental income in a Form 11 under the self assessment rules.
Where the landlord is non-resident and in the absence of an Irish resident Agent, the tenant(s) should deduct tax from the rent at the standard rate and pay this tax over to Revenue. The landlord will be entitled to a credit for the tax deducted by the tenant(s) and must file a Form R185 along with either a Form 11 or Form 12 depending on the amount of rental profit generated.
If, however, the landlord has engaged the services of a Tax Collection Agent in Ireland, this Irish resident individual will be responsible for filing the relevant tax return and submitting the appropriate tax payment on the landlord’s behalf.
image courtesy of mapichai @ freedigital photos
The Spanish system has two types of Personal Income Tax:
Spanish resident individuals are generally liable to PIT on their worldwide income wherever it arises.
Non-resident individuals are chargeable to NRIT on their Spanish source income only.
An individual is liable to Spanish tax based on his or her residence.
An individual is deemed to be Spanish resident if he or she spends more than 183 days in the tax year (i.e. the calendar year) in Spain or if the individual’s main centre of business or professional activities or economic interests is located in Spain.
It is important to bear in mind that temporary absences from Spain are ignored when calculating the number of days for the purposes of establishing residency except where tax residence in another jurisdiction can be proven.
Where the individual does not satisfy the above 183 day rule, he or she will not be considered Spanish tax resident for the calendar year in question and as a result, Spanish source income including capital gains will be liable to NRIT.
In situations where an individual may be deemed to be tax resident in two jurisdictions in the same tax year, it is essential that the individual consult the relevant Double Taxation Agreement to establish what relief or exemption from Spanish Tax may be available.
Generally speaking, the credit for Spanish tax withheld on foreign source income and capital gains tax will be the lower of:
a) Actual foreign tax withheld on the foreign source income which is equivalent to the Spanish PIT or NRIT
b) Average effective PIT rate applied to the foreign source income taxed in the other jurisdiction.
Individuals must file a Tax Return and pay the relevant taxes within six months of the end of the calendar year i.e. 30th June following the year end, being 31st December.
Married couples may elect to file their tax returns either jointly or separately.
There are strict filing deadlines for non-resident individuals. Please be aware that there are no deadline extensions available.
There are a number of penalties to consider including:
a) Penalties for the underpayment of taxes range from 50% to 150% of the unpaid tax liability.
b) Penalties for the late payment of taxes range from 5% to 20% where such payments are made on a voluntary basis and not as part of an audit or investigation.
c) Statutory Interest on late payments will also apply.
WORK PERMITS / VISAS
Individuals entering Spain from outside the E.U., as either employees or self employed individuals, must obtain a work and residence permit prior to commencing their self employed or employment activity in Spain.
The Work and Residence permits are issued for a twelve month period.
It is possible to renew this permit two months in advance of its expiry date and always advisable to do so before the permit has expired.
For individuals entering Spain from E.U. member states, there is no requirement to possess a Work and Residence Permit.
For E.U., EEA or Swiss individuals who wish to remain in Spain beyond a three month period, they are required to register with the Spanish Authorities and obtain the Central Registry for Foreigners Certificate.
For general taxable income received by Spanish resident individuals, progressive tax rates ranging from 19% to 48% are applied. These rates depend on the Autonomous Community in which the individual is deemed to be tax resident. As a result, tax liabilities can vary from one autonomous region to another.
Dividends, Interest, Capital Gains and Savings Interest are taxed at the following rates:
Non resident individuals are taxed at a flat rate of 24% on Spanish source income. This rate is reduced to 19% for individuals who are tax resident in an EU member state or an EEA country with which there is an effective exchange of tax information treaty in place.
Income Tax is levied on the gross Spanish source income but there are no deductions or tax credits available for offset with the exception of certain expenses for E.U. tax resident individuals.
Investment income (i.e. Interest and dividends) arising for non resident individuals are liable to 19% tax although this figure may be reduced depending on the Double Taxation Treaties in place. It is important to bear in mind that Interest for EU residents in tax exempt.
From 2016 onwards Capital gains will be taxed at 19% if arising from the transfer of assets.
Royalty income is liable to tax at 24%
Pensions are taxed at progressive rates ranging from 8% to 40%.
As a general rule, all employees working in Spain must be registered with the Spanish social security administration. The employer is obliged to make employer and employee contributions depending on the category of each employee and social security contributions are paid on salaries/wages.
The general contribution rate for employees is 6.35%.
The general contribution rate for employers is 29.9% in addition to a variable rate for general risk.
These rates depend on the activities engaged in by the companies as well as the employee’s employment and educational category.
Inbound assignees may continue to make social security contributions in their home countries in line with International Social Security Agreements and E.U. regulations and as a result claim an exemption from paying social security contributions in Spain.
To qualify for the exemption E.U. nationals must obtain the necessary official certification from the relevant Social Security Authorities in their country of origin.
There are three situations in which an exemption from Social Security in Spain may be claimed:
There are a number of alternatives open to individuals wishing to invest in Spain. These include setting up a limited company or forming a branch / permanent establishment.
Due to the number of Irish clients with trading companies in Spain, we have prepared a general summary of the taxes arising.
This is not a full and comprehensive guide to Spanish taxes and does not provide detail on the local operation of taxes. As a result, we would always advise anyone with Spanish interests to seek the advice and expertise of a local tax professional.
Corporate tax is levied on the income of companies and other separate legal entities.
Spanish resident entities are liable to tax on their worldwide income and not just on profits from activities carried on in Spain.
What is a Spanish resident entity?
a) The majority of the entity’s main assets are located in Spain.
b) The entity’s principal business activity is carried out in Spain.
c) The strategic control is exercised in Spain
It is important to keep in mind that the above point (i.e. number 3) will not apply if the entity exercises its management and control in another country providing it does so for bona fide commercial reasons and not for the purposes of managing securities or other assets.
Non-resident companies and entities are only liable to Corporate Tax on their Spanish income arising from business operations carried out by a Permanent Establishment within the jurisdiction (See Article 5 of the Ireland/Spain Double Taxation Agreement for a definition of Permanent Establishment).
It is important to be aware that a “Fiscal Representative” must be appointed by a non-resident individual or company to correctly handle all tax affairs when carrying out commercial activities in Spain.
25% is the general tax rate for residents as well as non-residents carrying out commercial activities in Spain through a “Permanent Establishment.” Other tax rates may apply, however, depending on the type of company and the type of business carried out.
Where foreign companies have permanent establishments in Spain, Non-Resident Income Tax of 25% is chargeable on the income arising to the Permanent Establishment.
A reduced rate of 15% applies to newly incorporated entities set up on or after 1st January 2015. This preferential rate applies to the first two years of operation providing a taxable profit arose in the first tax period.
This start up rate of 15% does not apply in the following situations:
For new companies set up prior to 1st January 2015 they will be taxed at 15% on their tax base up to €300,000 with 20% tax being levied on any excess amounts. This will apply for the first two tax periods.
Without a Permanent Establishment
When dealing with non-residents operating in Spain without a permanent establishment, but who are resident in another EU or EEA state with which there is an Information Exchange Agreement in place, a distinction should be made between an individual and a corporate entity.
The tax rate applicable in the above situation is 19% and the tax deductible expenses are calculated in line with Personal Income Tax and Corporate Income Tax legislation.
In all other situations, the general rule is that non-residents operating in Spain without a permanent establishment are taxable at a rate of 24%.
A 1% Capital Duty is payable by the shareholders on the dissolution of a company or on a reduction in its share capital.
Dividends, Interest and Royalties
Dividends paid to non-residents are liable to a 19% Withholding Tax unless a lower rate applies under a relevant Double Taxation Agreement.
It is also possible for an exemption to apply under the EU Parent Subsidiary Directive. Distributions paid to E.U. parent companies by Spanish subsidiaries are exempt from withholding tax provided the parent company held, either directly or indirectly, at least a 5% holding in the subsidiary company for a continuous period of twelve months in addition to satisfying other conditions.
Anti-Avoidance legislation exists where the ultimate shareholder in not E.U. resident.
Following an amendment in the Spanish Personal Income Tax Legislation, a share premium distribution paid to a non-resident shareholder may now be treated as a dividend distribution liable to withholding tax under the general rules.
Interest paid to a non-resident including a non-resident individual is liable to 19% withholding tax unless a lower rate applies under the relevant Double Taxation Treaty.
Interest income is exempt from tax if the recipient is a resident of an E.U. member state or an E.U. Permanent Establishment of an E.U. resident company which is not deemed to be a tax haven.
Royalties paid to non-residents including a non-resident individual are liable to withholding tax of 24% or 19% if the recipient is resident in an EU or EEA member state where an Information Exchange Agreement exists.
This rate can be reduced by the provisions of a relevant Tax Treaty.
Royalties paid to associated EU resident companies or permanent establishments are exempt from tax in Spain providing certain conditions are satisfied.
Under Spanish law capital gains are treated as ordinary business income taxable at the 25% corporate tax rate.
Capital gains on disposals by non-residents without a permanent establishment in Spain are taxed at a reduced rate of 19%.
Where non-residents without a permanent establishment dispose of real estate situated in Spain, a tax of 3% will be withheld from the sales price by the purchaser and paid over to the Spanish Tax Authorities to be offset against the vendor’s tax liability.
Capital Gains from the transfer of shareholdings/ownership interests in Spanish companies and foreign subsidiaries by corporate entities are exempt from tax if the conditions of Participation Exemption are satisfied.
For an E.U. corporate shareholder, ownership of at least 5% must be held directly or indirectly or the shareholding must be valued at over €20 million and it must be held for at least a twelve month period.
In situations where the company is non-resident, a foreign tax which is similar to Spanish Corporate Income Tax of 10% will apply providing the corporate entity is resident in a country with which Spain has concluded a Double Taxation Agreement.
Spanish VAT or IVA is charged on the supplies of goods and services within the Spanish VAT territory as well as on imports and intra-EU acquisitions of goods and services.
IVA is charged at 21% on the majority of goods and services in Spain.
There is a reduced rate of 10% which applies to certain goods and services such as the purchase of a newly built property, passenger travel, health products and equipment, toll roads, refuse collection and treatment, entrance to cultural buildings and events, some foodstuffs, water supplies, renovation and repair of private dwellings, agricultural supplies, hotel accommodation, restaurant services, etc.
There is a super reduced rate of 4% which applies to the basic necessities other than those classified under the 10% rate and these include human medicine, basic foodstuffs (i.e. bread, milk, cheese, eggs, fruit, vegetables, cereals, potatoes, etc.), books, newspapers and magazines except the electronic equivalents.
Sales Tax is applied in Ceuta and Melilla instead of VAT.
The Canary Island Indirect Tax or IGIC applies in the Canary Island instead of VAT.
The ordinary rate of IGIC is 7% but there are a range of other rates: 0%, 3%, 9½%, 13½% and 20%.
CHANGES TO VAT RULES
On 1st July 2017 a new “Immediate Supply of Information” system took effect in Spain.
This new VAT management system now requires taxpayers to maintain their VAT books and records through the Spanish Tax Authorities website on a near real-time basis.
This new system is mandatory for all taxpayers who file their VAT Returns on a monthly basis including:
This new system, however, also enables Taxpayers to elect to use the S.I.I. If they voluntarily choose to use this system then they must declare their intention on Form 036.
Are you aware of how much has changed since 1st January 2017 in terms of Tax compliance, Tax Credits, Employee Subsistence Expenses, Personal Tax, Corporation Tax, Capital Acquisitions Tax, Capital Gains Tax, Value Added Tax, PAYE, Stamp Duty, Transfer Pricing, Local Property Tax, Revenue Audit Procedures, etc.?
Here are a list of the Revenue eBriefs published so far this year: