Declaring rental income

Question from Anukool updated on 5th October 2018:

I am keen to know if I have to declare my rental income given my situation. I have heard differing views on this. We had to move overseas for a year and a half for my wife to do her training and this meant we put our family home up for rent.

We will come back to our house on our return, so it's just a temporary move. Do we need to declare our rental income or since our 'intention' was not to make it into a rental property and only rented it out of necessity. Are we exempt from any income?

One tax advisor told us that we don't have to declare income, as our intention wasn't to make money and it is for only a temporary period of time. Is that right?

Our expert Matthew Gilligan responded:

There is a quick answer here in that the income is taxable. You do have to declare it. Your intention as to whether the property was going to be a long-term rental property or not is irrelevant.

Matthew heads GRA's specialist property and asset planning division. He helps clients create optimal tax structures and build wealth through property. He has an extensive buy-to-hold property portfolio, is currently involved in over a dozen developments, and is author of two books - Property 101 and Tax Structures 101.

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