Tax Advice

Understanding the taxes that come with a place in the sun

13 Nov 2018

Whilst the holiday season may be over, and the last of the summer sun firmly behind us, holidays are still a hot topic of conversation in the accounting world as now is one of the most popular times of the year to consider investing in a holiday home.

But what is the tax legislation surrounding these unique property business opportunities?

These lets can be seen as a “halfway house” between ordinary buy-to-let properties like hotels or B&Bs.

Our accountants have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to individual tax affairs and have broken down everything you need to know about the tax implications that come with buying your own place in the sun.

Do you need expert tax advice? Get in touch with us to talk about how our team can help you.

Buying to let abroad

A furnished holiday let requires the following conditions as of November 2018:

  • Furniture for the occupiers to use

  • Located in the UK or in the European Economic Area

  • Available for letting to the general public for at least 210 days in the tax year

  • Was actually let commercially as holiday accommodation for 105 days or more

  • If occupied by the same long-term tenants for more than 31 days, these periods must total no more than 155 days

The rules can be relaxed if there are one or two years where it was not possible to let the property for 105 days. If the condition was met previously, it can still be treated as a furnished holiday let for the year in which it failed to meet the 105-day requirement.

If you have more than one property which is used as furnished holiday accommodation, you can take an average of the days they were actually let to determine if the 105-day rule is met.

Capital allowances and reliefs

Capital allowances can be claimed on furniture and equipment used in the holiday accommodation as well as integral electrics, heating and plumbing systems. Up to £200,000 annually can be written off 100% against profits.

Reliefs are available to reduce or defer any capital gains tax (CGT) when the furnished holiday let is sold. This includes roll-over relief, gift relief and entrepreneurs’ relief, which can reduce the CGT payable for higher rate taxpayers from 28% to 10%.

Profits from furnished holiday lets are earnings for pension purposes and can allow for more tax allowable pension contributions to be made.

The recent restriction in tax relief on mortgage interest paid by residential landlords does not apply to furnished holiday lets and the full amount of any interest paid can be deducted from profits.

To gain these tax advantages, it is vital to ensure that the qualifying conditions are fully met, and the correct boxes are completed in the self assessment tax return.

Whether it’s tax advice or completing your self assessment, our team are here to help you. Talk to us today, or alternatively try our instant quote tool and get a competitive fee in just 5 clicks.

Keir Wright-Whyte


Managing Director

0207 043 4000

About the author

Originally graduating with a degree in geography from Edinburgh University, Keir claims that he was then tricked into becoming an accountant by one of the UK's top 5 accountancy practices.The deception extended to the usual training in audit and associated activities.

Keir subsequently worked in a number of advisory roles with clients including in the energy trading, pharmaceuticals and financial services sectors.

He loves working at Accounts & Legal because of the variety of work and clients, the excellent team ethos and morale, the importance placed on genuinely helping and being useful for clients and because he believes what he does matters to clients and helps the firm.

Keir's primary role is to ensure that new clients with complex businesses or needs are on-boarded in the best way and he is a "trouble shooter" both for clients and where complex issues arise internally. He also helps the accounting teams strive to improve what we do for clients, whether processes or services.

When not debiting or crediting, Keir has a penchant for fixing old buildings, skiing, surfing and cycling.


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