5th December, 2019, Stephenson Smart
There are important tax changes on the horizon from 6 April 2020. Disposing of a property on or after this date means you may need to factor in new capital gains tax (CGT) rules.
Broadly speaking, private residence relief (PRR) means there is usually no CGT to pay on the sale or disposal of your main or only residence. To ‘better focus’ PRR on owner-occupiers, the 2018 Budget announced changes to the final period exemption and lettings relief. You may want to consider your affairs now in the light of these changes.
Taking a look at the final period exemption
Currently, the final period exemption means you are not usually liable to CGT for the last 18 months of ownership, provided you lived in the property as your main residence during the period you have owned it. This gave protection for someone moving to a new main residence when having difficulty selling their original home. However, from April, the final period will be cut to nine months. Therefore, if you buy a new property before selling the old, it will be important to sell within nine months to avoid a possible CGT bill.
A word on lettings relief
Currently, lettings relief gives up to £40,000 relief (£80,000 for a couple who jointly own the property) for someone letting part, or all, of a property which is their main residence, or was the former main residence at some point in their period of ownership. But, under new rules, lettings relief will only be available where you jointly share occupation with a tenant. These new rules will apply for disposals from 6 April 2020, regardless of when the period of letting took place, even if before April 2020. This is likely to considerably reduce its scope.
Tax and property are complicated, and it is always prudent to discuss the potential tax implications of any property transaction. For peace of mind and further advice, please do not hesitate to contact us.