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Can I Pay Myself for the Time Spent on Managing My Property Business?

I live and run my UK properties from Cyprus. I find that I am spending a lot of time keeping my portfolio up to date, for which I am not being paid. If I was a tax resident of the UK, regardless of whether I paid myself for looking after the rental properties or not, I would still need to declare my worldwide income and be taxed accordingly. This is a ‘catch 22’ situation but as I am a tax resident of Cyprus, I only need to declare my UK income to the UK tax authorities. 

Therefore, if I pay myself in Cyprus for the work I carry out here with regards to my UK properties, can I then claim this on my tax returns? Obviously I would then have to declare this to my own tax authority and be taxed accordingly but the tax relief bracket is higher here so less tax would have to be paid.

Arthur Weller Replies:

On page PIM2080 of HMRC’s Property Income Manual (, it states: 

"A landlord can’t deduct anything for the time they spend themselves working in their own rental business." 

So even though you put time and effort into your property business, you cannot put a monetary value on that time and effort and claim it as an allowable business expense, under UK property tax rules.

Property Tax Insider This sample question and answer is taken from Property Tax Insider, a monthly UK tax saving magazine for landlords and property investors.

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