Students are often unaware of income tax deduction available to them when renting a place while away at college or university. This could provide a larger refund at the end of the year from the government. Claiming rent on a tax return is something that every student living off-campus should be doing, when applicable.
This beneficial tax break does have one requirement; a student must have documented rent receipts to show proof of rent paid. This proof must contain the following:
The address of the rental unit to which the rent applies.
The name of the tenants to whom the receipt applies.
The amount and date of each payment received for any rent, deposit, arrears or any other amount paid to the landlord (must specify what the payment was for).
The landlord’s signature.
It is crucial to make sure that the rent receipt contains all of this information; otherwise, they may not meet the legal requirements to be accepted for tax purposes.
Landlords are obligated legally to provide tenants with a rent receipt, if rent has been paid. If a landlord refuses to comply, then the student tenant should contact the local Landlord and Tenant Tribunal for assistance.
Student tenants should avoid paying rent in cash because there is no paper trail. In addition, it would be difficult to prove payment was given, if the landlord didn’t produce a rent receipt.
The preferable method of payment is either by check or e-transfer. Some landlords may use a property management company or software system to collect payments.
In the case of subletting, the documentation for rent receipts can vary. Technically, a sublet agreement is between the primary tenant and the sub-tenant; meaning the landlord has no formal agreement with the sub-tenant. Since the landlord has no contractual obligations to the sub-tenant, the rent receipt should be provided by the primary tenant. However, the landlord would be required to provide the primary tenant with a rent receipt. In this case, it is the primary tenant’s responsibility to ensure the rent is paid and a receipt is issued to the sub-tenant. Some landlords may be accommodating, though, and give the rent receipt directly to the sub-tenant.
Before the tax season arrives, students should organize their receipts and paperwork to ensure all is ready on time.
SEE ALSO: Should Student Tenants Buy Renters Insurance?
The Places4Students.com Team