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25/04/2024

Tax-free home sales

by David Edmonds

In general, there is no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) liability created when a property used as the main family residence is sold. An investment property which has never been used as a home will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief.

Taxpayers are entitled to full relief from CGT when all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The family home has been the taxpayers only or main residence throughout the period of ownership.
  2. The taxpayer has not sublet part of the house – this does not include having a lodger share your house.
  3. No part of the family home has been used exclusively for business purposes (using a room as a temporary or occasional office does not count as exclusive business use).
  4. The garden or grounds including the buildings on them are not greater than 5,000 square metres (just over an acre) in total.
  5. The property was not purchased just to make a gain.

If a property has been occupied at any time as an individual’s private residence, the last nine months of ownership are disregarded for CGT purposes – even if the individual was not living in the property when it was sold. The time period can be extended to thirty-six months under certain limited circumstances. There are also special rules for homeowners that work or live away from home.

Married couples and civil partners can only count one property as their main home at any one time.

Source:HM Revenue & Customs| 21-04-2024

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