Tax implications of buying a holiday home
Buying a holiday house can seem appealing, whether it’s to rent out for income, for your own holidays or both. However, it is important to be aware of the different tax implications for how you choose to use your holiday house.
If you own a holiday house and do not rent it out, you cannot claim any expenses relating to the property. If you decide to sell the property, you will need to calculate your capital gain or loss. Even though you don’t need to include anything in your tax return while you own the property, it is still important to keep all records to determine the capital gains tax implications for when you sell it.
If you own a holiday house and rent it out to others, you have to include the income you receive from rent as part of your income in your tax return. Deductions can be claimed on expenses incurred for the purpose of producing rental income, such as cleaning, advertising costs, pest control, insurance, maintenance and repairs. The cost of repairs and renovations cannot be claimed immediately, but are deductible over a number of years.
You are only able to claim deductions for the periods the property is rented out or genuinely available for rent. A holiday house may not be considered genuinely available when:
- It has none or limited advertising, e.g. when you only advertise by word of mouth or restricted social media pages.
- It is rented out free or discounted to family and friends.
- You use the property for yourself.
- There are unreasonable conditions for renting, e.g. restricting children and pets and only being available during off-peak holiday seasons.
If a holiday house is shared between two owners, then the deductions need to be split accordingly. For example, if the house is owned 50-50, then the owners can claim equal shares of the expenses. If one partner owns 20% of the property, they can only claim 20% of the expenses.