Private Residence Relief - tax relief on selling your home Shipleys Tax Advisors

Where a property has at some point been the owner’s only or main residence, any gain relating to the final period of ownership is exempt from capital gains tax. Prior to 6 April 2020, the final period is set at 18 months, subject to a period of 36 months where the person making the disposal is a long-term resident of a care home or is disabled.

However, for disposal on or after 6 April 2020, the final period exemption is halved from 18 to nine months. However, it remains at 36 months for disposal by long-term care home residents and disabled persons. 

If you are planning to dispose of a property which has not been your only or main residence throughout the whole period that you have owned it, speak to your professional advisers to ascertain how the timing of the disposal can impact on the capital gains tax payable.

Lettings relief 

Lettings relief is a valuable relief that applies on the disposal of a property which has been let out and which has at some point been the owner’s only or main residence.

Under the current rules lettings relief applies to shelter part of the gain arising on the sale of a property which has been let out as residential accommodation and which at some time was the owner’s only or main residence. The amount of the lettings relief is the lowest of the following three amounts:

 • the amount of private residence relief available on the disposal;

 • £40,000; and 

 • the gain attributable to the letting.

However, from 6 April 2020, the availability of lettings relief is to be seriously restricted. From that date, lettings relief is only available where at some point the owner of the property lets out part of their main residence as residential accommodation and shares occupation of that residence with an individual who has no interest in the residence.

Where the gain would otherwise be chargeable to capital gains tax because it relates to the part of the main residence which is let out as residential accommodation, it is only chargeable to capital gains tax to the extent that it exceeds the lower of:

 • the amount of the gain sheltered by private residence relief; and

 • £40,000.

If the property is let but the landlord does not live in the property with the tenant, lettings relief will not be available for disposals on or after 6 April 2020.

Lettings relief can shelter up to £40,000 of gains. Where a disposal of a property that would currently attract the relief is on the cards, it may be beneficial to dispose of the property prior to 6 April 2020. Speak to your professional adviser to ascertain the impact that the disposal date has on the available reliefs and the capital gains tax, if any, that will be payable.

Residential property gains

Although no capital gains tax will arise on the disposal of a property which has been the owner’s only or main residence throughout the period of ownership, a liability may arise on the disposal of a residential property which is or has at some point been a second home or which has been let.

Prior to 6 April 2020, where capital gains tax is payable on a gain arising on the disposal of a residential property, the gain is notified to HMRC on the self-assessment return and the tax is payable by 31 January after the end of the tax year in which the disposal took place. 

However, from 6 April 2020, taxpayers will be required to make a payment on account of the capital gains tax liability arising on the disposal of a residential property. The taxpayer will also be required to make a return to HMRC giving notice of the disposal. The return must be delivered to HMRC within 30 days of the date of completion of the disposal. Payment of any associated tax must be made within the same window.

Capital gains tax on chargeable residential property gains is payable at higher capital gains tax rates of 18% and 28%.

If you are planning on disposing of a second home or buy-to-let property on or after 6 April 2020, speak to us about how the new return and payment rules will affect you.