UK landlord? Complete your Self Assessment tax return in 6 simple steps

You probably hate having to do your tax return each year. Let’s be honest – it’s a faff – and you’d rather be doing almost anything else. Who enjoys tax returns? And if you lack experience,…

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Last Updated: 5th April 2023

You probably hate having to do your tax return each year. Let’s be honest – it’s a faff – and you’d rather be doing almost anything else. Who enjoys tax returns?

And if you lack experience, perhaps because you’ve not done it before, completing your Self Assessment tax return can take up many hours (if not days) of your time ( and probably weeks worrying about it).

So, if you’re a UK landlord and want to make completing your Self Assessment tax return quicker, easier and less painful, follow these six simple steps…

Step #1 – Register for Self Assessment

You can earn up to £1,000 a year in tax-free rental income, as long as you don’t claim “allowable expenses” (ie costs you’ve covered to rent out your property – see #3). It’s called your property allowance. If you co-own the property or land, each owner can claim the £1,000 property allowance against their share of the gross rental income.

You must notify HMRC if your gross annual UK property/land rental income is between £1,000 and £2,500. Any higher and you must register for Self Assessment and complete a Self Assessment tax return (SA100) plus supplementary page (SA105). You can register online by visiting

Need to know! If you didn’t file a Self Assessment tax return in the previous tax year, you must register by 5 October following the end of the tax year (5 April) in which you earned taxable rental income.  

Step #2 – Use commercial Self Assessment filing software

Using third party software can make filing your Self Assessment tax return far quicker and easier. After choosing to file as a landlord, the software will direct you to filling out sections of the tax return that are relevant to you. Make any mistakes and you’ll soon be told, while you might save lots of money by finding out what tax allowances and reliefs you can claim.

Self Assessment tax-return software can cost less than fifty quid for the year, but the time it can save you makes that investment very worthwhile. And it’s likely to be much cheaper than paying an accountant to do your Self Assessment tax return for you.

Need to know! However you choose to complete your tax return, have all of the necessary details and financial records to hand, because it will speed things up significantly. 

Step #3 – Know which forms you need to complete

UK landlords need to fill out the main Self Assessment tax return (SA100 – eight pages long) plus a supplementary page (SA105 – a two-page additional form). In the SA105, you detail your taxable rental income and any expenses you wish to claim. There can be additional pages to complete if you have other taxable income to report, for example, from self-employment (SA103). Tax returns can be filled out and filed directly with HMRC, although you don’t get any of the benefits of third-party filing software.

Need to know! In your SA100 you’ll need to include your 10-digit Unique Taxpayer Reference (UTR – you get this when you register for Self Assessment), your National Insurance number and employer reference if you have one.

Step #4 – Report all of your taxable income

You must report all sources of taxable income within your Self Assessment tax return, so that HMRC can work out how much tax you owe on your taxable rental income. That includes income from employment, which is something that some landlords completing Self Assessment tax returns for the first time can miss out.

Taxable income can come from self-employment, savings interest, share dividend payments, capital gains from selling assets, state or private pension payments and even some state benefits. If your income from such sources is relatively low, even after modest rental income is added, there might be no tax to pay once your tax allowances and reliefs are taken into account.

Need to know! Each year you get a tax-free Personal Allowance. For the 2023/24 tax year, it’s £12,570. You don’t pay tax until your taxable income exceeds this.    

Step #5 – Claim for all of your tax expenses

Renting out property usually involves having to pay many costs. Thankfully, to help reduce your tax bill, a wide range of “allowable expenses” can be claimed against your gross rental income to cover these costs. That includes property maintenance, repair and redecorating costs, gardening and cleaning, insurance, service charges, lettings agent and management fees (read our guide What expenses can landlords claim against tax?). You summarise your rental allowable expenses within your supplementary SA105 form.    

Need to know! If your rental property is furnished or part-furnished, you may be able to claim Replacement Domestic Items relief for replacing sofas, beds, carpets, curtains, white goods, sofas, crockery, cutlery, etc.

Step #6 – Seek expert support

If you lack experience, getting your Self Assessment tax return checked over by an expert provides peace of mind. It should prevent mistakes which can later cost you time and money. And an expert will be able to ensure that you’re claiming all of the tax reliefs and allowances to which you’re entitled.

Final Self Assessment tax return top tips

Don’t leave completing your Self Assessment tax return until the last minute. Who needs the stress? You can file any time after 6 April, you don’t leave it until the online filing deadline (midnight on 31 January) is looming. Just because you file early, doesn’t mean you’ll have to pay your tax bill any sooner. And because you’re not rushing to meet a deadline, you’re less likely to make mistakes.

For the same reason, take your time when filling out your Self Assessment tax return. You should get it done in three or four hours, as long as you have all of the necessary information to hand. Do it in a couple of sittings, if it helps. Also pick a place where you’ll be free from distractions, so you can concentrate fully on the job in hand, get it done and off your plate.

Having to complete a Self Assessment tax return is a pain that many landlords can do without. We can help. GoSimpleTax offers you an easier way to complete and file your Self Assessment tax return. And to ensure that your tax return is error-free and that you’re claiming all of your allowable expenses, why not get your Self Assessment tax return checked by one of our experts?

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Blog content is for information purposes and over time may become outdated, although we do strive to keep it current. It's written to help you understand your Tax's and is not to be relied upon as professional accounting, tax and legal advice due to differences in everyone's circumstances. For additional help please contact our support team or HMRC.

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