For Landlords

How To Declare Your Rental Income for LHDN 2021

Not sure whether you need to declare your rental income? The answer is yes! In Malaysia, residential or non-business properties incomes are considered taxable incomes.

So if you’re a landlord with a property being rented out, you might want to read more. That said, bear in mind that this information will come especially handy during tax season. Here we have compiled the 7 things you should know to declare your income rental to LHDN.

  1. What do we mean by Rental Income Tax?
  2. Do you need to pay tax if you declare Rental Income?
  3. How to determine the tax rate
  4. What happens if you don’t declare Rental Income
  5. What to do if you are an expatriate or non-resident
  6. Available tax incentives for rental properties and landlords in 2021
  7. Tax exemptions in 2021

What Do We Mean by Rental Income Tax

multiple houses and money

Did you know that owning a property in Malaysia and renting it out will mean you have to declare it under rental income? Generating profit from the rental means that you have to pay a certain amount of tax. But before that, there are 2 ways you can classify your rental income.

According to section 4(d) of the Income Tax Act 1967, “The letting of real property is treated as a non-business source, and income received from it is charged to tax under paragraph 4(d) of the Income Tax Act 1967 if a person lets out the real property without providing maintenance services or support services (such as cleaning services and repairs services) comprehensively and actively.”

This means that to declare your rental income, you need to decide whether your rental property comes with maintenance and support services or not.

  • If yes, then it’s considered as a business income. 
  • If no, then it’s considered as a non-business income. You can file this along with your individual income.

Bear in mind that you need to provide receipts in your filing to offset your tax amount if you did provide such service. Aside from that, if you experienced rental loss, you are not obligated to include rental income in your tax filing. Exciting right? Let’s go through the next thing on the list.

Do You Need to Pay Tax if You Declare Rental Income?

Tax money

If your rental income is considered as a non-business income, you will need to add the amount you’ve generated from the rental to your total income. You will only need to pay tax if:

  • The amount of income you earn exceeds RM34,000 per Annum, and if you break it down to per month, around RM2,833.33. This is after EPF deductions.
  • Without EPF deductions, your income exceeds RM38,202.5 per Annum or RM3183.52 per month.

So, the income depends on how much you earn per annum or monthly. You can refer to LHDN’s official website to see the chargeable income and tax imposed. The current tax rate is from 0% to 30% of your income according to the budget of 2020.

How To Determine The Tax Rate

Tax deductions

Residents of Malaysia pay tax based on a progressive tax rate that means the tax will get higher when your income gets higher. So, this means you will be charged according to the income you earn from the following modes:

  • Profits you get from a business
  • The profit you earn for employing people
  • Dividends, Interests, and discounts you get throughout the year
  • Royalties, premiums, and rent
  • Tax is also applicable on pensions, annuities, and other payments that are not mentioned above.

You would essentially want to list all of your commitments or expenditure because this justifies that you have a lower net annual income, which will lower your overall tax charges.

What Happens If You Don’t Declare Rental Income

Tax fine Malaysia

Many landlords make the mistake of not declaring rental income by under-reporting their income as they see rental income more as an investment than a taxable income. Section 113 of the Income Tax Act states:

(1) Any person who—

a) makes an incorrect return by omitting or understating any income of which he is required by this Act to make a return on behalf of himself or another person; or
b) gives any incorrect information concerning any matter affecting his own chargeability to tax or the chargeability to a tax of any other person, shall…be guilty of an offence and shall, on conviction, be liable to a fine of not less than one thousand ringgit and not more than ten thousand ringgit and shall pay a special penalty of double the amount of tax which has been undercharged…

In short, you are obligated to report your income amount as accurately as possible. If you fail or evade to do so, you will be penalised under Section 113 of the Income Tax Act 1967, which impose a fine between RM1,000-RM10,000 and 200% of the tax you undercharge. 

So, if you don’t declare or under-declare your rental income then, we think it’s time for you to know how to do it. You can file the tax via the online portal of LHDN or physically.

What To Do If You are an Expatriate or Non-Resident?

Rental income for expatriates

As an expatriate, depending on how long you’ve stayed in Malaysia and the type of work you do, you will be charged either progressively or with a flat rate. The key thing to note here is that only incomes with a source in Malaysia are taxable. Other profits are not subject to the personal income tax rates,

Next, you need to determine whether you’re a tax resident or non-resident. Based on this, you will be charged differently. Here are the differences:

  • Non-residents: expatriates working in Malaysia for less than 182 days a year. They subject to a 30% flat rate and are not usually given reliefs and discounts on income tax but, 
  • Tax residents: Those who have stayed in the country for 182 days consecutively in one calendar year. They will pay tax progressively depending on their income (ranging from 0% to 30%). 

So if you’re an expatriate, your income tax may be charged progressive or flat rate. You can do your income filing online or offline.

Available Tax Incentives for Rental Property Landlords In 2021

Tax incentives for Landlords

LHDN has stated that landlords are entitled to various tax incentives as allowed deductible expenses. Here are the expenses allowed to be deducted from the rental income.

  • Expenses related to ordinary repairs to help maintain the property in its existing state.
  • Fire/ Burglary insurance
  • Quit rent as well as assessment tax
  • Mortgage interest on loans obtained
  • Rent collection charge and legal costs caused to implement rent collection.
  • Cost caused to restore tenancy or to replace the tenant.
  • Maintenance expense for various properties

If you wish to claim these expenses, then you must have a legal rental agreement and also the original receipts of the expenses you want the claim for. 

Tax exemptions in 2021

Tax exemptions incentives for landlords

In the wake of the pandemic and to boost Malaysia’s economy, the government took the initiative known as Economic Stimulus Package 3.0, in which landlords with business premises are exempted from a reduction of relief. 

The relief or reduction in the rental payment to SME tenants starting from April 2020 to September 2020. The condition here is that the reduction should be at least 30% of the existing rental rates.

Now that you know how you can declare your rental income, you don’t have to worry about the tax season! Just carry out your due diligence, and who knows, you might be able to get a tax deduction.

15 thoughts on “How To Declare Your Rental Income for LHDN 2021

  • Can we claim capital allowances on building or houses that rented out?

    • Hi there, if your rental house or building is declared under Section 4(A) Business Income then yes, capital allowances are claimable!

  • Andrew Yap

    Hi, I’m Malaysian work overseas. Paid income tax in the country I work. But I have rental income from the residential I bought in Malaysia. My gross rental income is RM22,800 per year before the deduction of permitted expenses. Will I need to pay taxes in Malaysia for this amount of money I earned from rental?

    • Alicia

      Hello Andrew, any individual that earns an annual income of RM34,000 has to register a tax file. Though your income may not reach 34k it is best to register a tax file for your income.

  • Hello there,
    If my house vacant since Aug 20, only manage to get tenant starting Nov 21. How should I calculate net rental income?
    Can mortgage interest from Jan till Oct 21 included in deduction?

  • Benjamin Lai

    Similar to Andrew’s question, I am also a Malaysian and living outside Malaysia (more than 182 days), and I have rental income from a Malaysian property. As a Malaysian, do I file as resident or non resident? Thank you

  • Michelle

    Hi there, I’ve rented two shoplot (side by side) for a business, but sublet one side after putting a partition between both units, do I need to pay tax for this rental income? Because I don’t earn from this, I’m actually collecting rent to combine with my rent to pay the monthly rent to landlord for the two subunits. Thanks

    • Alicia

      It is best you declare all your income and expenses/commitments to know whether your income is taxable or not. If you’re offsetting your loan repayment using the rental payment and your income in total does not reach a taxable amount then you probably can be exempted from tax.

  • Mortgage interest on loans obtained – if I’m taking the bank moratorium. Can I still enjoy this as part of the deductible expenses?

    • Mortgage interest on loans is a deductible expense for homeowners in general. You can read here for more information: in order to know what are deductible expenses for you income we suggest it is best you consult with a professional tax consultant

  • I have personal income tax and also rental income, if my gross annual rental income is 24k do I need to enter in the form for annual submission?

    • Everyone is required to declare their gross overall income. The tax amount will be based on the sum of your personal income and rental income.

  • I rent out 2 property under 4d non business income. Property A is rental loss 15,000 and Property B is rental income 5,000 in Yr 2021. ( total rental loss 10,000)

    May I know, should I declare rental income/losses with my 4a income ?

    • Alicia

      Hi Karen, rental income will be declared under your personal income and you may also declare property A as your commitment for tax reduction


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