Monday, 20th August 2018
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Renting out a room in your home

Q. I have an extra room in my home and I would like to rent it out. Will I have to pay tax on this rental income?

A. If you rent out a room in your home, the rental income you earn is exempt from income tax, PRSI and the Universal Social Charge provided it is less than €14,000 in a tax year (1 January to 31 December).

This is called rent-a-room relief. Rental income includes the total rent and any money that the tenant pays directly to you for food, utilities, laundry or similar services. The income you get must be under the exemption limit of €14,000. If it is over this limit, you are taxed on the total amount. Your home must be in the State and you must occupy it as your sole residence during the year of assessment. This means that it is your home for most of the year and is where people would normally expect to make contact with you.

Some self-contained units qualify for this relief but they must be attached to your home, for example, a basement flat in your home. You do not have to own the property to get rent-a-room relief you can be a tenant sub-letting to someone else. In this case, you should check with your landlord that sub-letting is allowed.

The rent-a-room relief applies only to residential tenancies, not to short-term guest arrangements, and tenants must use the room on a long-term basis. So, renting a room to a student for the academic year or for a one-month course is covered, but providing accommodation to occasional visitors for short periods, for example, through an online accommodation booking site, is not. You cannot claim the relief if you are renting a room to your civil partner, son or daughter, or if you are an employee and your company pays you to allow clients to use the room on an occasional basis.

Further information is available from the Citizens Information Centre below. Know Your Rights has been compiled by Waterford Citizens Information Service which provides a free and confidential service to the public. Call into 37 Lower Yellow Road or 41 Merchant's Quay or Tel: 076107 6580 or Information is also available online at www.citizensinformation.ie and from the Citizens Information Phone Service, 0761 07 4000.

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