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Benefits of renting out a holiday home

If you own or plan to rent a holiday home or vacation property in Spain, it can be an interesting option from a tax perspective. It's essential to be aware that you usually have to pay taxes on the (purchase) price of the villa. If your vacation property is located abroad, you need to consider the local tax regulations. Since these regulations are regularly updated, and there is increasing legislation exchange between countries, it's always advisable to consult with your local tax advisor before renting out a holiday home.


Tax on rental income

In many countries, local taxes are imposed on rental income from holiday home rentals. This can be at the national, regional, or even municipal level, depending on the villa's location. Your place of residence is also crucial. In some countries, such as the Netherlands, you may not have to pay tax on rental income.


Cottage rental and VAT

However, if you engage in additional activities, such as providing city tours or transportation services, Value Added Tax (VAT) may be applicable. Different countries have different tax rules for such activities. Villa rentals, though, are generally not subject to VAT. Our advice: Consult your tax advisor for precise regulations. Keep in mind that a professional assessment of your tax return can make your work easier and may also result in additional tax benefits.


Stay informed on tax legislation

The amount of tax you need to pay annually varies by country and region and changes regularly. Thus, it's challenging to accurately predict how much you'll pay to the tax authorities. France and Spain, for example, have historically imposed taxes ranging from 25% to 30%, while in other countries, it could be 50% or more. Note that the exact percentage can fluctuate annually.


Therefore, staying well-informed about the current situation is crucial. How many days can you rent tax-free? It's also necessary to pay attention to the maximum number of days in a year that the property can be used as a holiday home. Each country has its own limit, but you may not need to declare it yet. In cities like Amsterdam, the limit is 6 months, after which you need to start paying your taxes. Even if you list your holiday home on vacation rental platforms, it's considered commercial rental in many countries, and you may need to pay a percentage. Most countries distinguish between "temporary/short-term rental" and "commercial/long-term rental." If you exceed the maximum number of days, you usually have to pay (more) income tax. Entrepreneurs benefit from a certain amount of tax-exempt income and can deduct specific expenses on their tax return.


Holiday home rental license

In many countries, obtaining a rental license is now mandatory for renting out a second home. This is particularly strict in certain parts of Spain and can result in significant fines for not having a license. Requiring a rental license is a way for the government to regulate the rental of holiday homes and provide guests with some assurance about housing quality.


Tax deductions

In many countries, you have the right to deduct certain amounts from your annual income. You then need to demonstrate that your second home is used to generate income. This means you're considered a business owner, and different rules apply. The easiest way to 'prove' that you intend to make a profit is to leave the holiday home completely vacant and fully rentable. This can be documented, for example, in the purchase contract, excluding so-called personal use for the coming years. Then, you indicate what your expected future annual income will be.


Tax Offices and States want to ensure that you clearly anticipate earning more than you spend. Even if you use the villa for private purposes, you're still considered a business owner if you make a profit. Certain expenses and VAT can then be deducted from your annual tax return. This can make a significant difference in qualifying as a business owner and enjoying certain tax benefits.


Local or tourist tax

Homeowners should also be aware that local authorities may require a tourist tax from guests. The exact amount should be communicated to guests in advance. Tourist tax is a fixed rate that applies to everyone in the area.


You can also inform Villa Management Spain that tourist tax is already included and pre-paid. This saves guests the hassle of paying on-site and avoids surprises. Research indicates that guests prefer to pay everything in advance to stay in the holiday mood. Paying the deposit and additional costs on-site can be a hindrance.


Tax refund

Regardless of the country you reside in or where your second home is located, you must declare your rental income in your tax return. Extra income, such as tourist tax, deposit, and final cleaning, should also be considered. Villa Management Spain is receiving increasing mandatory requests to transfer the rental income from each villa to other authorities. In France and Italy, this is part of national regulations and is expected to be adopted in other countries as well.

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