Angela Rayner slams ‘smears’ over council house sale

Angela Rayner slams ‘smears’ over council house sale

10:08 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago 21

Text Size

Angela Rayner has slammed the allegations of tax evasion over her council house sale as a ‘smear’ in a BBC Newsnight interview.

The deputy Labour Party leader insists there was ‘no wrongdoing’ or ‘unlawfulness’ in the sale of her Stockport home.

The allegations first appeared in the Daily Mail and a biography by Lord Ashcroft, the former Conservative Party treasurer.

The issue is whether Ms Rayner’s former home was her principal residence at the time of sale – something she declined to clarify in the interview.

This distinction could have affected the amount of tax owed though there is still no clarity on where she was actually living when married.

‘There’s no rules broken’

Ms Rayner told the BBC: “I’ve been very clear there’s no rules broken. They [the Conservatives] tried to manufacture a police investigation.

“They [the police] said there’s no issues there. I got tax advice which says there was no capital gains tax. It’s a non-story manufactured to try and smear me.”

Ms Rayner acknowledged that she commissioned professional tax advice recently after the claims about the house sale emerged.

She said: “I was a home care worker, you know, I didn’t have an accountant. I had, as most people would: you put your house on the market, you get a legal conveyancing solicitor, and you get an estate agent.

“But since those allegations were put to me, I got expert tax advice to make sure that I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

She married Mark Rayner who owned a separate house nearby

Ms Rayner bought the Vicarage Road property for £79,000 in January 2007 and she married Mark Rayner, who owned a separate house nearby, in September 2010.

Although she described the Vicarage Road property as her ‘principal house’, she admitted to spending time at her husband’s home.

In March 2015, two months before becoming an MP, Ms Rayner sold the Vicarage Road property for £127,500, making a gain of £48,500. The couple separated in 2020.

Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police found no evidence of any offence after Conservative MP James Daly requested an investigation into whether Ms Rayner had provided false information.

Could be liable for a Capital Gains Tax bill of £1,500

It has been estimated that Ms Rayner could be liable for a Capital Gains Tax bill of £1,500 and a Sunday Times article suggested that no tax would have been due if she met one of two conditions.

They are jointly nominating with her then-husband her Vicarage Road property as their main residence or spending £15,000 or more on home improvements on the Vicarage Road home before selling it.

HMRC rules state that married couples and civil partners ‘can only count one property as their main home at any one time’.

However, the Labour deputy leader acknowledges that when selling her house in 2015 she was not aware of the HMRC rules which state married couples or civil partners can only count one property as their main residence.

Ms Rayner told Newsnight: “No, I wasn’t aware of the HMRC rules… when I sold that property.

“As I say, I sold it as most people would put it on the market, got the solicitor and the estate agents, etc. since those allegations were put to me, the tax laws on capital gains tax and principal private residency, etc. is very complex, including marriage.

“I got that advice that is categoric that I do not owe any capital gains tax on that.”

Declined to answer the points in detail

When asked whether she had met one of the two conditions on residence, Ms Rayner declined to answer the points in detail – but did insist she owed no tax.

She said: “The rules are complex and these are various different ways to which it’s calculated.

“But I got back that expert advice because if I did owe any capital gains tax, I would have said and I would have paid it.

“But I don’t owe any capital gains tax because of the circumstances. And I’ve gone through that with a tax expert, and they’ve given me that advice.”

The BBC Newsnight interview is available on iPlayer.

To help Angela Rayner and anyone who needs more information about landlord tax and incorporation, contact Property118’s experts:

Book a Landlord Tax Planning Consultation

  • Hidden
  • Hidden
    Please provide an overview of your circumstances and what you are looking to achieve.
  • For the avoidance of doubt, we are able to assist landlords who own properties in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Where you reside is not a problem, even if you are resident outside the UK.

Share This Article


Comments

Retired GasMan

10:39 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

She is so confident in her beliefs, that she had to engage the services of a "TAX CONSULTANT" expert

Freda Blogs

11:16 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Ms Rayner told Newsnight: “No, I wasn’t aware of the HMRC rules… when I sold that property.“

Since when did ignorance of the law become a defence?

The opinion of the so-called “tax expert“ will rely on the information given to him/her by Ms Rayner. If she’s been economical with those facts, it won’t be worth the paper it’s written on.

Markella Mikkelsen

11:21 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Hmm, so the options are:
1. Mark and Angela Rayner were married but living in separate homes. Maybe Mark Rayner thought this would be the quieter arrangement.

2. She is lying. She rented out the property. Did not declare rental income. Did not have Gas Safe. Did not have EPC. Did not have EICR. And all the other things that you are meant to do as a landlord.

That's why she is trying to convince us that she did option 1.

JB

11:26 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

It all seems a bit merky to me! Maybe Mr Raynor could clarify? Previous reports say she was OMG a LANDLORD! And probably ignorant of her responsibilities there too

Retired GasMan

11:37 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 22/03/2024 - 11:16
very good ponts!

Judith Wordsworth

11:41 AM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Welcome to landlording Mrs Rayner.

Throw the book at her like she would insist the courts do should any other landlord act in the same manner.

Beaver

12:05 PM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Freda Blogs at 22/03/2024 - 11:16
"Although she described the Vicarage Road property as her ‘principal house’, she admitted to spending time at her husband’s home."

It may well be that legally it was her 'principle home' if she had bank statements going there and she was personally paying the utility bills; and it might be that she didn't break the law and that she owes no capital gains tax. Or it may be that she did owe capital gains tax but it's now impossible to prove it: I doubt the police would wish to investigate or the CPI to prosecute because this long after the event it would be difficult to gather evidence on which property was her principle private residence.

But it's not just capital gains tax rules that are in question here. The rules for getting an enormous discount on a council home say that you must continue to live there for five years afterwards. It's supposed to be your *home*. And as I understand the situation the neighbours have already said that she wasn't living there.

So if it wasn't her home, even if there's no chance of her being obliged to pay CGT, then she still owes the discount that she got on the sale of what was a public asset. And if she ever opens her mouth and criticises somebody else for (a) legally minimising their personal tax burden or (b) using a loophole to avoid paying tax then if, as the neighbours have said, she wasn't genuinely living there, then she really would be a hypocrite. And she'd have no credibility.

Steve O'Dell

13:43 PM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

If she doesn't understand such basic things as capital gains tax and PPR, how the hell can she be the deputy leader of an potential incumbent government? This country really is in trouble.

Beaver

13:47 PM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Steve O'Dell at 22/03/2024 - 13:43
She may well not have understood capital gains tax and PPR when she acquired and sold this council house for no tax.

However, she will definitely have understood the rules for acquiring a council house at a massive discount as it will have been explained to her at the time that it had to continue to be her home. There's certainly no excuse for that.

The reason she had the 'right' to buy her council home at a massive discount was a massive privilege: I wonder if she appreciates and acknowledges the enormous privilege conferred upon her by Margaret Thatcher.

Cider Drinker

16:38 PM, 22nd March 2024, About 3 months ago

Liars and tax dodgers are not fit for public office.

1 2 3

Leave Comments

In order to post comments you will need to Sign In or Sign Up for a FREE Membership

or

Don't have an account? Sign Up

Landlord Tax Planning Book Now