Thanks for your question
Unless the property is in joint names, then I am afraid the total rental income, and relevant expenses must be declared by you.
Then the first £9440 is tax free assuming you are a UK citizen (as you are still entitled to UK personal allowances, despite not being UK resident) then the remainder would be liable to 20% tax.
I should also point out, that the tax should be deducted from the rents unless you have registered for the non resident landlord scheme - I have added a link here that advises more on this topic, but as you can see, either the tenants (or managing agent if you have one) should be making these deductions and paying them over to HMRC (and then you claim the tax paid on your self assessment tax return)
The only way that you can have your wife be responsible for half the rents (and expenses) to then utilise another £9440 personal allowances (which would render the net rental income tax free) is to transfer half the property into her name.
But as things stand, you are the one responsible for the full declaration of this rental income and associated expenses.
Do feel free to ask any follow up questions.
Very helpful and quite frightening at the same time.
Given that i didn't know about this I am now in a situation.
I have looked at your link and its massive. I've never heard of tennants paying the tax directly and trying to understand such a large document is intimidating to say the least.
I thought i just had to file self assessment and say im getting X amount per year from the rent and then pay the amount owed!
Do you think i need a Tax Lawyer to help get me out of this mess?
Thanks for your response
Its very straight forward (despite the size of the information provided) but you could engage an accountant if you do not have a managing agent - if you have a managing agent, they should be very familiar with the non residents landlord scheme and should have guided you on this.
Have you a managing agent ? And when did the rental income begin?
When did you leave the UK and how long do you plan to remain out of the UK?
Ok Well I do not have a rental agent - (I did the rentals myself)
I have been out of UK for 2 years now when the rentals began.
I have no immediate plans to come back to the uk alteast for the next 3 years.
So you think an accountant could put all of this in line for me without the need for legal representation?
The yes an accountant is a good idea, as they can advise you fully on the process of either
1) Instruct you for tax to be deducted and paid over to HMRC (either through liaison with the tenants or advise you what to instruct the tenants to do, as this action usually is only performed through a managing agent making the correct tax deductions and any other charges from rents they receive and before they pass the balance to you OR you arrange directly with the tenants to pay the 20% tax deduction - so in essence pay you 80% of the rents and 20% of the rent to HMRC to represent the tax deduction) and more importantly
2) Arrange with you for the application for the Non Residents landlord scheme so that the rents can be paid free of tax, and you just basically carry on as you are