One of the most often used and valuable of the capital gains tax (CGT) exemptions concerns the sale of the family home. As a general rule there is no CGT on a property which has been used as the main family residence. An investment property which has never been used will not qualify. This relief from CGT is commonly known as private residence relief.
Taxpayers are usually entitled to full relief from CGT where all the following conditions are met:
- The family home has been the taxpayer's only or main residence throughout the period of ownership.
- The taxpayer has not been absent from the home other than for an allowed period of absence or because they have been living in job-related accommodation, during the period of ownership.
- The garden or grounds including the buildings on them are not greater than the permitted area.
- No part of the family home has been used exclusively for business purposes.
The last 18 months of ownership are disregarded for CGT purposes – even if the individual was not living in the property when it was sold. This means that a qualifying property that is rented out for up to 18 months before being sold will remain eligible for full private residence relief. If the property has been let for more than 18 months the seller will be entitled to private residence relief for the time they lived in the property in addition to the last 18 months of ownership. Any further gain will be liable to CGT.
It is also possible that the seller may qualify for a maximum £40,000 of letting relief thereby reducing or cancelling any chargeable gain.
We would be happy to help you calculate any tax due on the sale of a family home that has also been let during your period of ownership.