Tax if living abroad and selling UK home

One of the most often used and valuable of the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) exemptions arises on the sale of the family home. In general, there is no CGT to pay on a property that 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 or PRR.

The rules are different if you live abroad. A CGT charge on the sale of UK residential property by non-UK residents was introduced in April 2015. Only the amount of the overall gain relating to the period after 5 April 2015 is chargeable to tax. In certain circumstances PRR may apply where the property is the owner’s only or main residence.

A UK non-resident that sells UK residential property needs to deliver a non-resident CGT (NRCGT) return and pay any CGT within 60 days of selling a relevant property. The return must be made whether or not there is any NRCGT to be paid and even if there is a loss on the disposal, or where the taxpayer is due to report the disposal on their Self-Assessment tax return.

There are penalties for failing to file the NRCGT return within the deadline as well as for failing to pay any tax due on time.

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