Life is that much more difficult as a young man. Your first salary is measly and your expenses are a mile long. You may have to pay what is now referred to in popular culture as Black Tax. This is the money you send home to your parents to help with your siblings’ school fees. You still have dreams and visions of your future. So, you scrimp and save and focus your actions towards attaining your set goals. You must be a homeowner.
The first thing you did after signing your employment contract was join the employee Savings and Credit Cooperative Society (SACCO). You begun diligently putting aside Kshs 2,000 per month into your SACCO account; inching closer to your dream.
Then, three years later, after saving all your salary increment, you saw the advert in the papers, some company was building affordable homes and had a starter home package for Kshs 800,000. You fit every requirement they had. The SACCO and your friends who had gone through law school help you do the due diligence on the real estate investment. It comes out clean; they are real. You jump at this opportunity. You have been saving Kshs 10,000 per month for the last two years; the SACCO money will make the deposit amount, while the mortgage you apply for at your bank, pays for the rest. Everything is approved. You are on track to becoming a homeowner.
Since the house you bought is in Athi River and you work in Westlands, you make the decision to let out the house on completion. This is a wise decision, and by the end of the year, the houses are being handed over by the developer. By the beginning of the following year, you are a landlord.
Hold on, what about that Mortgage Relief? You call up your other friend in Tax Advisory. It’s a no! You do not qualify for the Mortgage Relief. Why is that? For the simple fact that you do not live in the house you took a mortgage for. The rent is probably viewed as relief.
What is expected of you now, is to register yourself as a recipient of rental income in the iTax portal, and begin filing rental income returns. This is cheaper done monthly, because it commands a 10% tax. If you choose to file annualy, then you will file the rental income as part of your annual returns and this will be