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What is HMRC NRL2 Form?

The HMRC NRL2 form in the UK is a specific document used by non-resident companies to apply for receiving UK rental income without the deduction of UK tax. It's tailored for companies that are either not based in the UK or are incorporated outside of the UK. This form is part of the Non-Resident Landlords Scheme, allowing these companies to have their UK rental income paid without tax being taken off at source.

 


What is HMRC NRL2 Form


Introduction to HMRC's Non-Resident Landlord Scheme (NRLS)

The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme (NRLS) in the UK, introduced in 1996, is an essential framework for individuals and entities that own rental properties in the UK but usually reside outside the country. This scheme regulates the tax on rental income for such landlords, ensuring compliance with UK tax laws. The HMRC (Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs) administers the NRLS, and it covers various types of landlords including individuals, companies, trustees, and partnerships​​​​.

 

Definition and Criteria of a Non-Resident Landlord

A non-resident landlord is defined as someone who owns rental property in the UK but lives abroad for more than six months in a tax year. This includes not only individuals but also companies and trustees with their main place of business or registered office outside the UK. Notably, even UK tax residents can be classified as non-resident landlords if their usual place of abode is outside the UK​​​​.

 

The Role of NRL2 Form

The NRL2 form is specifically designed for companies without a UK-based place of business or those incorporated outside the UK, intending to receive their UK rental income without the deduction of UK tax at source. It's a critical component of the NRLS, enabling eligible companies to manage their rental income and tax obligations effectively​​.

 

Understanding the Tax Implications

The NRLS mandates that, in default situations, the tenant or letting agent must deduct tax from the rental income before it is passed to the non-resident landlord. This tax is then reported annually to HMRC, ensuring that the landlord's UK tax obligations are met. However, landlords can apply to receive their rental income gross (without tax deduction at source) if they meet certain criteria such as having up-to-date UK tax affairs​​​​.

 

Joint Ownership and Tax Distribution

In cases of joint property ownership where one owner lives in the UK and the other is a non-resident landlord, the income tax payable is typically split according to each landlord's share ownership. Only the portion owned by the non-resident landlord falls under the NRLS.

 

Eligibility for Applying NRL2

To apply for NRL2, the company must:

  • Have no business place in the UK.

  • Be incorporated outside the UK unless considered resident in the UK for tax purposes.

  • Include the rental income in any Self Assessment tax return they send.

An online application is available, offering a reference number for tracking the application's progress. Alternatively, a postal version can be used, particularly when authorizing an agent to act on the company's behalf.

 

NRLS Tax Rates and Personal Allowance

Non-resident landlords are entitled to a personal allowance, which for the tax year 2022/23 was £12,570. This amount can be deducted from the landlord’s profit before normal income tax rates are applied. The base rate of income tax is 20% for earnings between £12,571 and £50,270, increasing to 40% up to £150,000, and 45% above that. For non-resident landlord companies, the corporation tax rate is 19%.

 

Double Taxation and Tax Credits

It’s important for non-resident landlords to be aware of potential double taxation scenarios. They are liable to pay tax on UK-based rental income, even if they also pay tax on this income in another country. In such cases, they may be eligible to claim credit for the UK tax against the tax payable in their country of residence, subject to the tax rules of that country​​.


How the Non-Resident Landlords Scheme (UK) Works Differently for Companies than Individuals

The Non-Resident Landlords Scheme (NRLS) in the UK is designed to manage the tax on UK rental income of landlords who usually reside outside the UK. This includes individuals, companies, and trustees. The treatment under the NRLS varies significantly between companies and individuals, affecting their tax liabilities and reporting obligations.

 

Scheme Overview and Basic Operation

The NRLS mandates that UK rental income for non-resident landlords is subject to tax. A withholding tax, generally at 20%, is applicable unless the landlord is registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for receiving rental income gross, i.e., without tax deducted at source. For individuals, the scheme considers a person's 'usual place of abode' outside the UK, which can be interpreted as an absence from the UK for 6 months or more. For companies, it applies if their main office or place of business is outside the UK or if they were incorporated outside the UK.

 

Registration and Approval for Gross Payment

Non-resident landlords can apply to HMRC for approval to receive rental income without tax being deducted. Approval is granted based on the landlord's UK tax affairs being up to date, or if they have not had any UK tax obligations or do not expect to be liable for UK tax in the application year​​.

 

Tax Liabilities and Returns

Non-resident landlords can offset the tax deducted from their UK rental income against their own tax bill when completing their UK self-assessment tax return. The tax deducted by letting agents or tenants is unlikely to equal the landlord’s liability due to differing rules between NRLS and landlord's tax liability calculations.

 

Differences in Treatment Between Companies and Individuals

 

  1. Tax Regime Change for Companies: Up to April 5, 2020, non-resident companies were taxed under the income tax regime at a rate of 20%. Post this date, they are subject to the UK’s corporation tax regime, currently at 19%. This shift necessitates a change in the way tax liabilities are calculated and reported.

  2. Tax Return Filing: Non-resident individual landlords are generally required to file a Self-Assessment tax return, while non-resident companies must file Company Tax Returns. The deadlines and procedures for these returns vary, reflecting the different administrative burdens on individuals and companies.

  3. Corporation Tax Specifics for Companies: Non-UK resident companies are subject to specific rules under corporation tax. This includes differences in allowable deductions, loss restrictions, and interest restrictions, which are not applicable to individuals. For instance, management expenses are deductible against net UK rental income, and there are complex rules regarding the deduction of interest and financing costs.

  4. Payment Dates and Advance Tax Payments: For companies, the tax payment dates under corporation tax differ from those under the income tax regime. Payment dates depend on various factors like taxable profits, company size, and accounting periods. This contrasts with the more straightforward payment dates for individuals under the income tax regime​​.

  5. Different Approaches to Tax Relief and Deductions: The types of expenses that can be claimed as deductions vary between companies and individuals. Companies face more stringent rules and limitations on what can be offset against rental income.

 

The Non-Resident Landlords Scheme in the UK demonstrates significant differences in the tax treatment of companies and individuals. Understanding these differences is crucial for compliance and optimizing tax liabilities. Non-resident landlords, whether individuals or companies, must navigate the complexities of the NRLS to ensure they meet their tax obligations while benefiting from any available reliefs or exemptions.

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Completing the HMRC NRL2 Form

For non-resident companies owning UK property, the HMRC NRL2 form is a crucial document. It allows them to apply for their UK rental income to be paid without the deduction of UK tax. Here's a step-by-step guide on how to complete the form:

 

  1. Eligibility Criteria: The NRL2 form is applicable for companies that:

  • Have no place of business in the UK.

  • Are incorporated outside the UK unless they are regarded as resident in the UK for tax purposes.

  1. Online Application: The form can be completed using HMRC's online service. For this, you will need a Government Gateway user ID and password. If you don't have a user ID, you can create one when you apply.

  2. Tracking Your Application: When you use the online form, you will receive a reference number to track the progress of your form. It's essential to add your Unique Taxpayer Reference number or VAT registration number to your tax account on the HMRC website.

  3. Postal Application: If you prefer or need to submit a physical application (for example, to authorize an agent to act on your behalf), you can fill in the form on-screen, print it off, and post it to HMRC. However, note that the postal form cannot be saved mid-way, so gather all required information before starting.

  4. Agent Authorization: If you need to authorize an agent to handle your tax affairs, you must also fill in the Agent Authorisation form (64-8) and submit it along with your NRL2 form.

  5. Inclusion in Self Assessment Tax Return: It is important to remember that even if you apply for and are granted permission to receive your rental income without UK tax deducted, the rental income is not exempt from UK tax. This income must be included in any Self Assessment tax return the company sends to HMRC.

 

Understanding Associated Forms

 

Alongside NRL2, there are several related forms that might be relevant depending on specific circumstances:

  • NRL1: For individual non-resident landlords applying to have UK rental income paid without UK tax deduction.

  • NRL3: For non-resident trustees to apply for the same purpose.

  • NRL4: For UK letting agents registering with HMRC as a member of the Non-resident Landlords Scheme.

  • NRL5: For letting agents with multiple branches, each seeking to be responsible for operating the scheme.

  • NRL6: For UK letting agents or tenants who have deducted tax from the rental income of a non-resident landlord.

  • NRLY: Annual Information Return for letting agents acting for non-resident landlords​

 


Practical Scenarios and Examples

 

Scenario: Jointly Owned Property

  • If a UK property is jointly owned by a UK-based landlord and a non-resident landlord, the income tax is divided based on the ownership share. For the non-resident landlord, NRLS rules apply, and the tenant or letting agent must withhold tax on the rent if it exceeds £100 per week​​.


Tenant Responsibilities under NRLS

  • Tenants paying more than £100 a week in rent to a non-resident landlord must register with HMRC within 30 days of the tenancy start. They need to calculate and withhold tax from rental payments, pay this tax to HMRC quarterly using NRLQ form, submit annual reports using NRLY form, provide NRL6 certificates to the landlord, and keep records of rent and expenses for four years​​​​.


Tax Calculations for Tenants

  • Tenants calculate the tax to withhold by adding up the rent paid in a quarter, subtracting expenses incurred on behalf of the landlord, and applying the basic tax rate of 20% to the remainder.


Multiple Tenants and Landlords

  • The NRLS applies separately to each tenant's share of the rent and each landlord's share of the property. For instance, if two tenants share a property rented for £250 a week from a non-resident landlord, each must register with NRLS and fulfill requirements independently.


Letting Agent Responsibilities under NRLS

  • Letting agents acting for non-resident landlords must register with NRLS, withhold tax on all rents received, submit quarterly and annual returns to HMRC, and keep detailed records for four years. They must file annual returns even if the landlord has registered under NRLS and is handling their own tax obligations.


Role of Tenant Finders

  • Tenant finders are not treated as letting agents under NRLS unless they handle rent for more than three months or the tax payable exceeds £100. In such cases, they must register with NRLS and deduct the appropriate tax.


Penalties for Non-Compliance

  • Non-resident landlords, tenants, and letting agents face significant penalties for non-compliance with NRLS, including fines up to £3,000 for incorrect returns, additional penalties for failure to provide information, and interest charges on late payments.


Tax Implications for Non-Resident Landlords

  • Non-resident landlords can claim a personal allowance before standard UK income tax rates are applied. They must be aware of potential double taxation and may claim credit for UK tax against tax payable in their country of residence. They are also liable for capital gains tax on the sale of UK property.


Registration for Gross Rental Income

  • Non-resident landlords wishing to receive their rental income without tax deduction must register with the NRLS. Eligibility includes having up-to-date UK tax affairs or not expecting to owe UK tax in the tax year.

 


Should Companies Appoint an Agent in the UK to Deal With the Non-Resident Landlords Scheme (UK) for the UK-based Properties

 

The Non-Resident Landlord Scheme (NRLS) was introduced by HMRC in 1996 to ensure tax compliance by landlords residing outside the UK but earning rental income from UK properties. The complexities of this scheme, especially for companies, raise the question of whether it is beneficial to appoint a UK-based agent to manage NRLS responsibilities.

 

Understanding the NRLS

The NRLS mandates that UK letting agents or tenants withhold basic rate tax from rent paid to non-resident landlords, unless the landlord has been approved by HMRC to receive rental income without tax deductions. This requirement applies to both individuals and companies.

 

Compliance and Tax Deduction

The NRLS imposes legal obligations on either the tenant or the letting agent to deduct and withhold tax from payments due to the landlord, which is then paid to HMRC quarterly. For companies, appointing an agent offers the advantage of ensuring compliance with these requirements, as agents are familiar with the process of registering with HMRC and handling tax withholdings.

 

Administrative Burden and Expertise

Non-resident landlords, including companies, are required to complete Self-Assessment Tax Returns annually, regardless of whether tax is owed. This process can be complex for non-residents, involving additional forms and potentially different procedures compared to UK residents. An agent, especially one who specializes in tax matters, can handle these administrative tasks efficiently, reducing the risk of penalties due to non-compliance.

 

Record Keeping and Deductions

Agents can assist in maintaining accurate records, which are essential for computing annual letting profits and complying with Self-Assessment requirements. Proper record-keeping, including letting statements and receipts for bills paid, is crucial, and failure to produce these records during an HMRC inquiry can lead to significant financial penalties. Additionally, expenses such as agent charges and accountancy costs are fully deductible when calculating taxable profits.

 

Tenant Management and Rent Collection

In scenarios where no agent is involved, the tenant is responsible for declaring the rent paid to HMRC annually. Many landlords prefer to use a letting agent to avoid this responsibility falling to their tenants, particularly in the case of corporate landlords who might have multiple tenants or properties.

 

Streamlining Tax Deductions Process

Landlords who live abroad can receive rent without tax deductions by completing the NRL1 form. A letting agent can facilitate this process, ensuring that it is completed correctly and on time. Once approved, HMRC communicates directly with the agent, allowing the landlord to receive gross rental income.

 

Considering the complexities of the NRLS, especially for companies unfamiliar with UK tax laws and procedures, appointing a UK-based agent is a prudent decision. An agent can handle tax withholding and compliance, manage administrative tasks, maintain essential records, and streamline the process of receiving rental income without tax deductions. This not only ensures compliance with HMRC regulations but also mitigates the risk of penalties and eases the administrative burden on the company.

 


How a Landlord Tax Accountant Can Help with HMRC NRL2 Form


How a Landlord Tax Accountant Can Help with HMRC NRL2 Form

 

Expertise in Navigating Complex Tax Laws

A landlord tax accountant specializes in understanding the intricacies of property tax laws, including those pertaining to non-resident landlords. Their expertise is invaluable in navigating the complexities of the HMRC NRL2 form. This form is crucial for companies that are landlords of UK properties but do not have a place of business in the UK or are incorporated outside the UK. The accountant's knowledge ensures that the form is filled out correctly and efficiently, minimizing errors and potential compliance issues.

 

Assistance in Registration and Compliance

One of the primary roles of a landlord tax accountant is to assist in registering for the Non-Resident Landlord Scheme (NRLS). This is essential for companies seeking to have their UK rental income paid without the deduction of UK tax. The accountant can help in determining eligibility, completing the online application, and providing guidance on obtaining a Government Gateway user ID and password, which are necessary for the online process.

 

Agent Authorization and Representation

For companies that prefer or need to submit the NRL2 form physically, perhaps to authorize an agent to act on their behalf, a landlord tax accountant can manage this process. They can fill in the Agent Authorisation form (64-8), ensuring all legal requirements are met for authorizing an agent to handle tax affairs.

 

Maximizing Tax Efficiency

Landlord tax accountants are adept at identifying ways to maximize tax efficiency. While completing the NRL2 form, they can provide advice on how to structure rental income and expenses to ensure optimal tax treatment. This includes guidance on allowable expenses, tax-deductible costs, and understanding the implications of the NRLS on your tax liability.

 

Ensuring Proper Tax Reporting

The role of a landlord tax accountant extends beyond just filling out the NRL2 form. They ensure that the rental income, even if received without UK tax deducted, is properly included in any Self Assessment tax return. This is crucial because even with the NRL2, the rental income is not exempt from UK tax.

 

Providing Updated Advice

Tax laws and regulations are subject to change. A landlord tax accountant stays updated on the latest tax laws and HMRC guidelines, including any changes to the NRLS and related forms. Their up-to-date knowledge ensures that landlords are always compliant with the current laws and can adapt to any changes that may affect their tax situation.

 

Handling Complex Situations

In cases of joint property ownership or where different forms are needed for various landlord entities (such as individuals, trusts, or companies), a landlord tax accountant can navigate these complexities. They can advise on the specific forms needed (NRL1 for individuals, NRL3 for trusts, etc.) and ensure that each entity's tax responsibilities are adequately addressed.

 

Representation in Disputes and Audits

If there are disputes or audits from HMRC regarding the NRL2 form or related tax matters, a landlord tax accountant can provide representation. Their expertise in tax law and HMRC processes allows them to effectively negotiate and resolve disputes, protecting the landlord's interests.

 

Customized Advice for Individual Circumstances

Every landlord’s situation is unique, and a landlord tax accountant can provide customized advice tailored to individual needs. Whether it's advising on tax matters related to NRL2 or broader property tax issues, their personalized approach ensures that landlords receive the most beneficial and relevant advice.

 

Ongoing Support and Consultation

A landlord tax accountant offers ongoing support and consultation. They can assist with annual tax return preparations, provide advice on tax planning, and offer solutions for any tax-related issues that arise. This ongoing support is crucial for landlords to maintain compliance and optimize their tax position over time.



20 Important FAQs about NRL Forms

 

Q1: What happens if I submit an incorrect NRL form?

A: Submitting an incorrect NRL form can delay the approval process and might require resubmission with the correct information.


Q2: Can a non-resident landlord switch agents and how does it affect the NRL form?

A: Yes, a non-resident landlord can switch agents. The new agent must be informed about the NRL status and may need to complete relevant procedures with HMRC.


Q3: Is it possible to submit the NRL form electronically?

A: Yes, NRL forms can often be submitted electronically through HMRC's online services or via online software that supports tax reporting.


Q4: How long does it take to get approval after submitting the NRL form?

A: The processing time varies, but typically it can take several weeks to receive approval from HMRC.


Q5: Can a non-resident landlord reapply if their NRL application is initially denied?

A: Yes, if an application is denied, the landlord can address the issues cited by HMRC and reapply.


Q6: Does a non-resident landlord need to renew their NRL status periodically?

A: No, once approved, the NRL status remains valid unless there are changes in circumstances that affect the landlord's eligibility.


Q7: What should a non-resident landlord do if their circumstances change after approval?

A: Any significant changes in circumstances should be reported to HMRC, as they may affect NRL status.


Q8: Are there any fees associated with submitting an NRL form?

A: Generally, there are no fees for submitting NRL forms to HMRC.


Q9: Can multiple properties be included in a single NRL form?

A: Yes, a landlord can include multiple properties on a single NRL form, provided all properties are under the same ownership structure.


Q10: Is it mandatory for a non-resident landlord to have a UK-based bank account for NRLS?

A: No, it's not mandatory to have a UK-based bank account, but it may simplify the rental income and tax payment process.


Q11: How does NRL status affect the landlord’s UK self-assessment tax return?

A: NRL status affects how rental income is reported and taxed in the UK self-assessment tax return.


Q12: What documentation is required to support the information on the NRL form?

A: Documentation may include proof of identity, property ownership, and non-resident status.


Q13: How does a non-resident landlord revoke their NRL status?

A: To revoke NRL status, the landlord must notify HMRC, typically in writing, outlining the reasons for revocation.


Q14: Are NRL forms different for individual landlords and corporate entities?

A: Yes, there are different forms and requirements for individual landlords (NRL1) and corporate entities (NRL2).


Q15: What are the consequences of not submitting an NRL form for eligible landlords?

A: Failing to submit an NRL form when required can lead to tax being deducted at the basic rate from rental income and potential penalties from HMRC.


Q16: Can a non-resident landlord appoint a representative to handle NRL formalities?

 A: Yes, landlords can appoint a representative, such as a tax agent or property manager, to handle NRL formalities.


Q17: How does the NRL scheme affect tenants of non-resident landlords?

A: Tenants of non-resident landlords may have to withhold tax from their rent payments unless the landlord has NRL approval.


Q18: Can a non-resident landlord backdate their NRL application?

A: It is generally not possible to backdate NRL applications; the scheme applies from the date of approval.


Q19: How does the NRL scheme interact with double taxation agreements?

A: The NRL scheme operates within the framework of UK tax law, but double taxation agreements may affect how rental income is taxed in the landlord's country of residence.


Q20: Are there any special considerations for NRL forms in the context of joint property ownership?

A: In joint ownership, each owner must submit their own NRL form if they are non-resident and receiving rental income.


Q21: What is the primary purpose of the NRL2 form?

A: The NRL2 form is used by non-resident companies to apply for receiving UK rental income without UK tax being deducted at source under the Non-Resident Landlords Scheme.


Q22: Who is eligible to fill out the NRL2 form?

A: The NRL2 form is specifically for companies that are non-resident in the UK but own and rent out property in the UK.


Q23: Can a non-resident company submit the NRL2 form if it has just acquired property in the UK?

A: Yes, a non-resident company should submit the NRL2 form as soon as they start earning rental income from a UK property.


Q24: What information is required to complete the NRL2 form?

A: The form typically requires company details, UK property information, and tax identification numbers.


Q25: How does a company submit the NRL2 form?

A: The form can be submitted to HMRC either electronically through HMRC's online services or via post.


Q26: What happens if a company submits an incomplete NRL2 form?

A: An incomplete form may be returned or lead to delays in processing, and the company might continue to have tax deducted from their rental income until the form is correctly completed and processed.


Q27: Are there any penalties for not submitting the NRL2 form?

A: While there are no direct penalties for not submitting the NRL2 form, failure to do so will result in the company's rental income being taxed at source.


Q28: Can a company change details on the NRL2 form after submission?

A: Yes, if there are changes in the company's details or circumstances, they should inform HMRC and may need to submit an updated NRL2 form.


Q29: How long does it take for HMRC to process the NRL2 form?

A: The processing time varies, but it typically takes several weeks for HMRC to process the NRL2 form.


Q30: Can a non-resident company revoke their NRL2 status, and how?

A: Yes, a non-resident company can revoke their NRL status by informing HMRC, typically in writing, and explaining the reasons for the revocation.



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