REAL ESTATE AND RENTAL INCOME TAXATION WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

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1 ISO 9001:2008 CERTIFIED The Law REAL ESTATE AND RENTAL INCOME TAXATION WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Rental income is taxable under Section 3(2) (a) (iii) of the Income Tax Act, Cap 470 Laws of Kenya. In addition, rent on non-residential buildings (Commercial) is also taxable under Section 5 and 6 VAT Act Cap 476. What is Taxable? All rent, premium or any other consideration for use or occupation of property. Rates of Taxation Taxation rates are dependent on whether the taxable person is an individual or corporate entity and whether they are resident or non resident. 1. For resident individuals, the annual tax rates (on total annual income including net rent income) are as follows; On the first Kshs. 121, % On the next Kshs. 114, % On the next Kshs. 114, % On the next Kshs. 114, % On all income over Kshs. 466, % Note: The above scales are referred to as graduated 2. For resident companies the net annual income together with other incomes, if any, are taxed at the flat rate of 30%. 3. For, non-residents (for tax purpose) there is only withholding 30% on gross rent and which then is a final tax, they are not allowed to claim any expenses. 4. For partnerships, only a single rent declaration is submitted but the partners will be taxed on their respective shares of the rent income. 5. Estate of deceased landlords. The net rent income (supported by rent schedules) accruing to the estate of deceased is chargeable at resident corporate tax rate of 30%. 6. VAT on non-residential Rent(Commercial rent) This is charged at 16% as it is not exempted by the 3 rd Schedule of The VAT Act. 1

2 What You Need To Do To Comply With the Law 1. Obtain Personal Identification Number (PIN) if you do not have one yet to enable you to transact any business with KRA including filing returns and paying taxes. KRA issues PIN on-line. To apply for PIN, please visit KRA online services at; 2. Taxes are paid in four instalments on the 20 th of the 4 th month, 20 th of the 6 th month, 20 th of the 9 th month and 20 th of the 12 th month of the accounting period. Any balance of tax is payable by 30 th of the fourth month after the end of the accounting period. 3. Proper records should be kept for all your rental property indicating the following; a) Land reference(lr) number b) Year of construction c) When first let and certificate of occupation d) Cost of construction e) Building plans f) Loan agreements g) Number of rentable units and rent per unit h) Rent received and rent receipt books i) Related expenses (invoices and receipts to support expenses) j) Lease/tenancy agreements k) Bank accounts for the rental income l) Rent schedules (income and expenditure account) 4. At the end of the accounting period; a) Income Tax on Rental Income Prepare rent schedule for all let property showing; number of property, rent received per property, gross rent received, and all expenses incurred per property. Deduct only allowable and supported expenses to arrive at the chargeable rent. Examples of tax computations are provided herein. Complete tax return by declaring the taxable rent profit and attach rent schedule in support thereof. When you are filing return online, enter the details of the rent schedule as provided in the sheet available with the online tax return form. The sheet is provided when you click in the space to declare/enter taxable rent profit. Submit self-assessment return within six months after the close of the accounting period. b) VAT on Commercial Rent Prepare VAT Account showing the VAT charged to tenants (output VAT) and allowable VAT on purchases (input VAT) incurred in the month. 2

3 Complete VAT return and submit together with payment by 20th the following month. day of Note: Receipts/invoices issued to tenants are supposed to show the VAT charged and shall be ETR generated. Note the following about online filing of the tax returns: You are encouraged to file your tax returns online. For details on how to file your returns online, please visit the KRA online services at To file online, you must register with KRA online services. Examples of a Rent Schedule Example 1: Resident Individuals a) Mr. Landlord has two properties from which he is earning rents as follows: Property A with 5 units, at Kshs. 20,000 per month per unit Property B with 10 units at Kshs. 15,000 per month per unit b) All units were occupied by tenants throughout the accounting period of c) During the accounting period, he incurred the following expenses; i). Land Rates Kshs.10,000 ii). Property insurance Kshs. 20,000 iii). Agents fees Kshs. 30,000 iv). Repairs Kshs. 160,000 v). School fees Kshs. 120,000* vi). Loan interest Kshs. 85,000 vii). Electricity Kshs. 60,000 viii). During the year, his principal loan repayment amounted to Kshs. 250,000** d) His accounting period ends on 31 st December, e) Computation of taxable rent income is as follows; Gross Rent income for the year: Property A - 5 units x Kshs. 20,000 x 12 months 1,200,000 Property B 10 units x Kshs. 15,000 x 12 months 1,800,000 Total Rent income in Kshs 3,000,000 Less: Allowable expenses (Kshs.): Land Rates 10,000 Insurance 20,000 Agent s fees 30,000 Repairs 160,000 3

4 Loan interest 85,000 Electricity 60, ,000 Net taxable rent income (Kshs.) 2,635,000 Notes: * School fees is a personal expenditure that is not allowable deduction. ** Principal Loan repayment is a capital item and not an allowable deduction f) Computation of Mr. Landlord s tax for the year (on the assumption that he does not have any other incomes): Taxable annual net rent income for the year - Kshs. 2,635,000 The first Kshs. 10% 12,197 The next Kshs. 15% 17,237 The next Kshs. 20% 22,982 The next Kshs. 25% 28,728 The balance Kshs. 30% 650,488 Total tax Payable 731,632 Less: Personal relief 13,944 Net tax payable 717,688 g) If Mr.Landlord had paid 4 equal instalments of Kshs. 150,000 each for the year totalling Kshs 600,000 then he would have a balance of Kshs. 117,688 to pay by 30th April However, if he had not paid any instalments in advance, then the entire of the Kshs. 717,688 would be payable by 30th April 2011 plus penalties and interest for failure to pay instalments when they are due as per the law. Example 2: Resident Limited Company a) In the above case, if the landlord was a resident limited company say M/s Landlord Ltd, then the net rent as computed above would be taxed at the corporate rate of 30% and all other matters remaining the same except that there is no personal relief. b) Therefore, tax computation will be as follows; Net taxable rent (Kshs.) 2,635,000 Corporate 30% 790,500 Less: instalment taxes paid 600,000 Balance due by 30/4/11 190,500 Example 3 Non Resident Persons a) For non-resident persons, the gross rent income is subjected to withholding tax at 30%, which is a final tax. 4

5 b) Therefore, tax computation will be as follows; Gross rent income (Kshs.) 3,000,000 Withholding 30% 900,000 (Please note this is a final tax) 5. Kenyans in the Diaspora Any Kenyan living out of the country but own property in Kenya must pay tax in Kenya on the rent earned. If non-resident (as defined in Section 2 of the Income Tax Act Cap 470), such rent is subject to a withholding tax at 30% of the gross which is then a final tax. However, if resident the rate of tax shall be at graduated scale on net rent income (see example 1). 6. Further Clarification For further clarification, please contact Mr. David Gichohi on Tel , Pentronila Muthenya r Call Centre Tel You may also visit the Real Estate and Rental Income Help Desk at Times Tower Building, Ground Floor or your nearest KRA Station for assistance. You can also communicate with us via ; For more details on the real estate and rental income taxation, visit the KRA website; Note that the Income Tax Act Cap 470 and VAT Act Cap 476 of the laws of Kenya are available on KRA website at www. kra.go.ke Disclaimer: Taxpayers are notified that if there is any inconsistency between the provision of the Revenue Laws and the information contained herein, then the Revenue Laws shall prevail. 5

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