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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15977
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Hi - I have a property in London which I bought in early 1988

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Hi - I have a property in London which I bought in early 1988 and lived there as my prime residence until 1993 when I married. I am considering selling the property now. It is still in my sole name. I was considering putting it in joint names with my husband so that we can use both CGT allowances but a colleague has mentioned to me that I should check whether this will affect the prime residence allowance? and the rental relief I will get otherwise. Grateful for an opinion please.

TonyTax :





What happens now. I see the expert is offline. Will I get an email containing the response??


Could I have another expert who is online please???

If you can let me have the following information I'll do some calculations:

1 The month in 1988 that you bought the property. What did it cost to buy?

2 Which month in 1993 did you move out? Was the property let right away?

3 Has the property been let continuously since it was first let? Is it still let now? If not, when did the letting cease?

4 Did you husband own his own home between 1988 and 1993?

5 What is the value of your property now?
Please see my info request. I had difficulty opening this question as I do not usually provide an answer to a question such as yours in a live chat as things get missed. If you let me have the information I asked for I will then go away and draft an answer.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry! I bought the property in February 1988. I got married on 17 April 1993. I think we started letting it shortly after that. Since then with the exception to a few void months between lets and a period of approx 9 months in 2003 when we used it during the week it has been let. My current tenants will move out in May - hence me considering the sale just now. Current approx value is £480k. Purchase price was £70k and I had the lease extended at a cost of £40k in the last few years. Many thanks


Leave this with me while I do some calculations.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK thanks

Hi again.

If you look at CG64950 in the HMRC manual here, you will see that unless the property is your only or main home at the time of a transfer into joint names, your husband's period of ownership will begin on the actual date of such a transfer as opposed to your original date of purchase. He will not, therefore, qualify for main residence relief or letting relief on his share of any gain if you do put the property into joint names before you sell it, assuming that you don't move into it that is.

If you sell the property in, say May 2014, for £480,000, you will make a gain of £370,000 (£480,000 - £70,000 - £40,000). By that time you will have owned it for 316 months of which you will have lived in it for 72 and let it for 244.

Based on your ownership period to, say May 2014, of 316 months you will qualify for exemption from Capital Gains Tax for £105,380 (£370,000 / 316 x 90) of the gain as you will be given the last 18 months of ownership as an exempt period in addition to your 72 months of occupation.

The remaining gain of £264,620 will be that part of the letting period gain not covered by the last 18 months of ownership. As the property will have been both your main home and let you will be entitled to letting relief which will be the lesser of:

1 £40,000,

2 the sum of the main residence gain and the gain for the last 18 months of ownership of the property which is £105,380 and

3 the letting period gain of £264,620.

Letting relief of £40,000 will reduce the remaining gain of £264,620 to £224,620 and the annual CGT exemption of £11,000 will reduce it further to leave you with a net taxable gain of £213,620.

There are two rates of CGT, 18% and 28%. The rate or combination of rates you will pay will be dependent on the level of your income in the tax year of disposal of the property. Assuming you sell the property in the 2014/15 tax year, one of the following scenarios will apply:

1 If your income in 2014/15 including the taxable gain is £41,865 or less, then all the taxable gain will be taxed at 18%.

2 If your income in 2014/15 excluding the taxable gain is more than £41,865, then all the taxable gain will be taxed at 28%.

3 If your income in 2014/15 excluding the taxable gain is less than £41,865 but more than £41,865 when you include the taxable gain, then part of it will be taxed at 18% and part at 28%.

If you put the property into joint names, you will each have a gain of £185,000. You will qualify for main residence relief of £52,690, letting relief of £40,000 and the annual CGT exemption of £11,000 leaving you with a net taxable gain of £81,310. Your husband will have a net taxable gain of £174,000 (£185,000 - £11,000). The additional taxable gain will be £41,690 (£81,310 + £174,000 - £213,620). You would need to consider your respective tax rates to assess the effect of a transfer into joint names.

You may choose not to claim main residence relief for the nine month period that you lived in the property during the week in 2003 as this would impact on your claim for main residence relief on your other home when you sell it.

Read the article here for a very aggressive way of attempting to avoid a taxable gain. HMRC will almost certainly challenge such a move as aggressive tax avoidance and seek to disallow the claim for main residence relief.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

I have to go out for a short meeting but will be back a little later this evening to answer any follow up questions you may have.
TonyTax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Many thanks for your very comprehensive response. I just have one more question to add. I replaced my kitchen twice and bathroom once during the 26 years. Can I also claim allowance for this?

If they were an improvement on what you replaced I'd claim the expense. However, if you don't have the receipts and invoices for the work, then HMRC may disallow the expenditure if they ask to see them and you cannot produce them.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes I do have receipts as I have an idea I claimed them against the income I received on the rental under general maintenance. Am I allowed to claim again?


You can only claim them once I'm afraid.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

OK many thanks