SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 70
Selling your property? It's important to know if you'll have
a capital gains tax liability and how you can reduce it
utting your home on the
market can seem like a daunting
prospect, especially if you're
looking to buy a new property
at the same time. There's a lot to mull
over. At what price will you market the
property? How much will you accept?
Does it need a bit of work to help it sell
better? Do you need to do a radical
declutter to show it at its best?
Next, you'll want to consider the
professional advisers you'll need to
help you get that all-important sale.
Your estate agent will help you ﬁnd
a suitable buyer, and assist you in
getting the best price. A solicitor will
deal with the conveyancing and legal
matters. However, you might also need
professional advice from an accountant,
as in certain circumstances sellers can
ﬁnd themselves paying capital gains tax
(CGT) on the proﬁts they make when an
asset has increased in value. Only the
proﬁt is taxed, not the entire amount.
How a capital gains tax
liability might arise
While most people would expect their
sale to be free of CGT, there have been
changes in legislation over the past two
years that could mean there may be tax
to pay. For instance, there has been a
reduction in the period within which a
homeowner qualiﬁes for CGT relief at
the end of their period of ownership
- it used to be three years, it's now
down to 18 months.
In addition, non-residents may be
subject to CGT on any gains made on
the sale of their main residence that
have arisen since April 2015.
Rates vary between 10% and 28%
depending on individual circumstances.
The basic CGT rules
In general terms, a person's main
residence is exempt from CGT if they
have lived in the property all the time
they have owned it.
However, if the property has been
let out during the period of ownership,
or the property was never the seller's