Tips on tax deductions for homeowners
Individuals who have not yet filed their income tax returns have until October 24 2022 to do so.
When it comes to tax deductions, homeowners are entitled to certain claims if they are working from home or if they own a rental property that provides an income.
“Homeowners who work from home might be entitled to a tax deduction based on the interest charged on the outstanding bond amount. Landlords are also required to declare the total amount of rental income received as part of their taxable income but can lower that taxable income by making certain deductions of non-capital expenses,” explains regional director and CEO of RE/MAX of Southern Africa, Adrian Goslett.
It should also be noted that homeowners can only qualify for a home office deduction if they are employed and a condition of the employment is to carry the cost of keeping a home office as the central business location.
Although many homeowners might qualify for a tax deduction, it is sometimes a difficult task to perform the necessary calculations. Goslett recommends homeowners consult a professional tax consultant if they are in doubt.
But, as a simplified overview of a homeowner who could potentially claim back if they work from home, RE/MAX of Southern Africa provides the following example:
Working on a home purchased for R1m, if you work from home and use 20% of the property as a home office, you will be entitled to a tax deduction based on the interest charged on the remaining outstanding bond amount. If the interest on the bond is charged at 9%, you will be charged roughly R90,000 in interest for the year. Because 20% of the property is used as a home office, you would be entitled to claim 20% of the R90,000 (R18,000) as a tax deduction in the production of your income.
This calculation becomes more complicated if you withdraw an amount from your bond or make a substantial additional payment.
Essentially, both these actions will affect how much you are able to claim back in tax.
For landlords hoping to lower their taxable income, Gosletts says a landlord is obliged to incur certain expenses during the period the property is let out. “Deducting these non-capital expenses from your tax return will reduce the taxable income and possibly put you in a lower tax bracket, which will be to your benefit.
Examples of non-capital expenses that can be deducted include:
Rates, taxes, security, and property levies Interest paid on the home loan Advertising costs of marketing the property Rental agent’s commission or fees for securing a tenant
Insurance (only homeowner’s insurance, not household contents insurance)
Repairs in respect of the area let
Note: if the tenant has moved out and repairs are made to the home to sell it, these expenses cannot be deducted as they did not happen while the tenant occupied the property.
“Be warned that evading paying tax on rental income will get you into deep financial water,” Goslett warns.
If there is ever any area of doubt, consult a professional financial adviser or tax consultant.
For more advice around homeownership, or to get in touch with the world’s largest brand in real estate, visit