Are you an expat with investment property in the UK? - You could be liable for Capital Gains Tax

Updated: May 22, 2019

Expats take note. Do you own investment property in the UK?  You could be liable to pay CGT when you come to sell your investment property.

In the UK, if you make a profit on the sale of an asset such as property or shares, you are liable to pay capital gains tax (CGT). This applies on asset sales you make before you become non-resident or within five years of leaving the UK. The tax is calculated as a percentage of the profit you make on selling an asset.

The rate of CGT remains at 18% where net taxable gains and taxable income are less than the income tax basic rate limit.

A previous loophole in law meant that non- UK residents were not liable for CGT on the sale of UK property.

But new plans under discussion could see the government to start charging British expats Capital Gains Tax alongside wealthy foreigners selling homes that are not a principle residence in the UK. This means those looking to make a nice profit by selling property in the UK to fund a life abroad will be looking at a smaller profit.

It is said that it is possible that British expats along with other non- resident UK property owners could become the source of an extra £70m of annual revenues by 2019, under the proposed policy.

So why the sudden clamp down on expats?

The motivation behind these possible measures is said to have arisen due to the housing bubble that has been created by foreign buyers.

As this is still under consideration it does of course leave some uncertainty but it is possible that this could affect values in the UK and the central London market, particularly, if there has been inflated demand because of this tax loophole.

A change to CGT rules would bring the UK in line with other key investor markets, such as New York and Paris where equivalent taxes can approach 35-50 per cent depending on the owners residency status.

Please note: This rule may change from April 2015 and is currently subject to consultation.

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