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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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, we have just had an offer accepted on a property. We

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Hi, we have just had an offer accepted on a property. We are lucky enough to be in the position where we have no mortgage on our current home, or a requirement for one on the new property. We are equally luck to be able to afford both at the same time, so plan to decouple the transactions so that we may purchase the new property, refit the kitchen and bathrooms whilst resident in our current property, and then move once works are complete. At this point we would sell our current home. We have been living in our current home for 16 years, never owned or rented any other property and been physically resident in the property throughout our ownership. My concern is that by owning both properties for a period (however short) we may be charged CGT on the sale of our current home as technically we would have two properties at the time of the sale, and likely be living in the new property. Can you provide some guidance please as I assume this kind of decoupling is not that uncommon when moving to a property that requires work? Many thanks, Tony


Take a look at HS283 for the basic rules on the main residence and Capital Gains Tax.

Since you have lived in your current home for the entire period of ownership to date, there can be no possibility of any CGT charge unless you sell it more than 18 months (36 months for disposals by 5 April 2014) after you move to a new home. You could make an election for the current home to be treated as your main residence after you have moved but if it is up for sale, HMRC may question it and if it is your intention to sell as soon as possible, then it would seem to be a pointless move as you have an 18 month grace period in any event. The government did have plans to abolish the main residence election with effect from 6 April 2015 but now intend to revise the rules instead.

If, for example, you sold the current property two years after moving out by which time you will have owned it for 18 years, then 6 months worth of the gain which has accrued over at at least 216 months (18 years) would potentially be liable to CGT. Assuming the current property is jointly owned, each part owner would be entitled to an exemption for the first £11,000 of gains (2014/15 level) made in any one tax year.

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

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thanks - that's excellent. I assumed there would be a provision for such circumstances, but as I hadn't been able to find sufficient clarity on the Internet your answer puts my mind at rest. Thank you for the excellent service, which I have naturally rated as such. Kind regards, Tony

Thanks. Enjoy your new home.