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Make sure you know who the legal owner of your property is, so the right person pays the right tax on any income from that property.

Income can include:

  • rental income
  • income from a taxable property sale.

Here are some different types of property ownership and who should declare the income for each type.

Joint ownership

If you own a property jointly with someone else, for example your spouse, you need to evenly split any income you get from that property. Then you each declare your share of the income in your own income tax return - IR3.

Complete my individual income tax return – IR3


Legal or business partnership income should be evenly split between partners, unless your partnership specifies a different split. For example, 30% to 70%. You each declare your share of the income in your own income tax return. The partnership also needs to file its own IR7 income tax return.

Income tax for partnerships

Property held in a trust

In a trust that holds property, the trustee is the legal owner of the property. They need to file an IR6 income tax return on behalf of the trust, to show any income it has earned.

The beneficiaries need to include any beneficiary income in their own IR3 income tax returns.

Learn more in our Estate or trust return guide – IR6G.

File a Trust or estate income tax return - IR6


If a company owns a property, the company needs to declare and pay tax on any income earned from that property. For example, a rental property.

File a Companies income tax return – IR4

Change or transfer of ownership

Changing or transferring ownership is the same as a sale for tax purposes, so there may be tax to pay. This includes any property that’s jointly owned when an owner is added or removed.

Selling a property to related people or organisations for less than market value is treated as at market value for tax purposes. For example, transferring a property from your own name into a trust, or between related companies.

Special rules apply for property transfers within the bright-line period after 1 April 2022.

Ownership transfers and rollover relief
Associated persons

Tax Technical advice

Learn more about changes of ownership on our Tax Technical website.

IS 22/03 fact sheet: The land sale rules and changes to co-ownership

Last updated: 17 Oct 2023
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