Property owners who host paying guests but do not declare their income to Sars will need to do so, says Sohail Govender, finance director of Just Property.
While Airbnb is well regulated and requires tax-related declarations annually before any payments are made to the hosts, the informal sector is unregulated, and so some of those who let their homes or rooms directly to tenants may not be aware that they need to track such income and declare it to Sars.
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“I believe there are still entrepreneurs in the informal sector who are not aware of this and do not declare this income to Sars.”
If Sars discovers that a landlord or host has not declared their rental income during the relevant years of assessment, Govender warns, penalties of up to 200% and interest can be charged.
“Even harsher steps may be taken based on the value of the undeclared income where taxpayers are unable to pay their tax at the time it is assessed by Sars.”
He adds, however, that both ad hoc renters and landlords can claim expenditure incurred in the production of income against that income. “The general deduction formula allows for deducting expenditure incurred in deriving the income to arrive at one’s taxable income.”