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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Myself and partner had a civil partnership ceremony yesterday.

Customer Question

Myself and partner had a civil partnership ceremony yesterday. We live apart and never intend to live together. We both have our own properties with substantial gains on each if sold him £350,000 and myself £100,000. I have just read that couples in a civil partnership can only elect to have one property as there main property for capital gains tax exemption. Can we elect to have separate single taxation on the properties
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  TonyTax replied 2 years ago.
Hi. I'm afraid not. One of the points of a civil partnership was to give those who enter into them the same tax advantages and rights that married couples enjoy. As such, you can only have one main residence between you for CGT purposes. If you don't elect for one or the other, then the matter will be decided on the facts but, given that you don't intend to live together, that will be difficult for HMRC to determine. I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
So the only way to avoid capital gains tax is to separate and end the civil partnership?
Expert:  TonyTax replied 2 years ago.
Given that you don't intend to live together and neither of you wants to give up tax free capital gains, then yes, that is your only option.
When a married couple or a couple in a civil partnership separate in circumstances which are likely to be permanent, then they can have separate main homes. However, I wouldn't encourage you to play fast and lose with the tax system if I were you and tell HMRC that you are separated when you really aren't.
Expert:  TonyTax replied 2 years ago.
Hi again.
Just to be clear and for the avoidance of doubt:
I realise that you don't intend to live together but if one of you did sell their home now, provided they had lived in the property for the entire period of ownership to date, there would be no taxable gain. The fact that you have entered into a civil partnership does not immediately expose your respective gains to CGT.
Take a look at HS283 for more information on the main residence and CGT: