Property a hot topic as CGT changes loom in UK

Contact: Anderson Anderson Brown (Scotland)

Draft legislation is about to herald a new era in capital gains tax. The changes are due to come into effect in April this year and will have an impact on all non-UK residents who dispose of a residential property located in the UK. Any gains realised by either a sale or a gift will be subject to CGT, regardless of the value of the sale.

It's not just individuals who will be affected by the change. The rule also applies to non-resident companies, partnerships, trustees and personal representatives of deceased non-UK residents. Although institutional investors (non-UK resident pension schemes or foreign real estate investment trusts investing in UK residential property) will be exempt, no reliefs or exemptions are generally available if the property is held for investment purposes, even if it has always been rented out.

What's more, the charge will apply to properties under construction and being adapted for residential use including land that forms the garden or grounds of a residential building.

Only gains from 6th April 2015 will be charged. Normally, the property will be rebased to its market value at that date. Time apportionment can, however, be used to calculate the gain after 6th April or the gain and loss can be computed over the whole period of ownership.

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