Breaking Ties with the UK for CGT purposes

by Readers Question

10:42 AM, 1st June 2017
About 2 years ago

Breaking Ties with the UK for CGT purposes

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Breaking Ties with the UK for CGT purposes

Following a recent brain hemorrhage, I’ve decided to move abroad, with my husband, for health reasons. The silver lining is that hopefully I can sell my 5 rental properties with reduced CGT (up to April 15).

I had the properties valued as at April 15 but have owned them for 15 years or more and most of the gains occurred prior to April 15. So there is a significant amount of CGT, potentially.

The problem concerns our residential property. Will my part-ownership of it be seen by HMRC as a link with the UK? Will it jeopardise my CGT plan because they say I have not fully left the UK or is it purely down to number of days spent in the UK?

My husband does not want to sell the res property at present as we are already having to give up our jobs and we would not qualify for another UK mortgage now. We have a residential mortgage on it and were planning to allow my sister and niece to live in it informally. We are not now in a position to meet the criteria to change to a BTL mortgage or remortgage in any way.

I’d gladly gift my share to my husband (if you think my CGT position is at risk) but the current lender (BM Solutions) will not take me off the title and we cannot do a form 17 Declaration of Trust because we are ‘joint tenants’.

The country we know well and intend to move to is Barbados which has no CGT.

I’d be grateful for any thoughts.

Fiona



Comments

Jo Roebuck

12:44 PM, 1st June 2017
About 2 years ago

We live in the Isle of Man and we also have no CGT or inheritance tax. A thought!

CazT

12:54 PM, 1st June 2017
About 2 years ago

We are planning to move to Spain soon for my health. I have already sold two of my properties and have kept two for income (they shouldn't be affected by Section 24). We have decided to sell our home rather than rent because of the "dementia tax" rumbles coming from Mrs May. She may have back-pedalled pre-election, but I'm convinced whoever gets in will do something similar. There is NO way on this earth we are letting government take the bulk of our home to pay for something we do not intend to use. We also considered releasing equity but we are too young to make much on that. We don't have anyone to inherit so we are taking it ALL out now.

Because we still have property in the UK, should we decide to come back, we will live in one of the rentals temporarily until we can find residential care that suits us. We will then sell that house without paying CGT, as it has been our residence. I suppose if we are healthy enough, we could do the same with the other property and sell that too. It very much depends on a lot of " X factors".

Hope you get it all sorted and good luck in Barbados ???

Mark Alexander

18:17 PM, 1st June 2017
About 2 years ago

Hi Fiona

Owning a home in the UK will not directly affect your non-resident status, however, it may affect the amount of time you can spend in the UK without being considered UK resident for tax purposes. Hopefully the following will help.

Below is a very short overview of what I consider to be the key points.

If you spend less than 16 days a rolling year in the UK then you are definitely classified as non-resident for tax purposes.

You can spend more days than that in the UK without becoming resident for UK tax purposes, but this depends on how many ties you have to the UK. The more ties you have, the less time you can spend in the UK before you are considered UK resident for tax purposes.

The ties are:-

1) You have been resident for tax purposes in the UK in the last three years
2) You have a home available to you when you visit the UK
3) You have a spouse or dependent children in the UK
4) You earn income in the UK (note that rental income is considered to be “un-earned”)

If you score all four points you will be classed as UK resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 16 days in the Country in any rolling 365-day period.

If you score three points you will be classed as UK resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 45 days in the Country in any rolling 365-day period.

If you score two points you will be classed as UK resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 90 days in the Country in any rolling 365-day period.

If you score one or zero points you will be classed as UK resident for tax purposes if you spend more than 180 days in the Country in any rolling 365-day period, providing that neither of those stays extend beyond 90 days.

Two other very important rules are:-

1) Any tax benefits will be reversed if you become resident for UK tax purposes within 5 complete tax years of gaining benefit from being non-resident.

2) You only become none resident during your first full tax year. This means that you must be resident before April and the tax benefits will not commence before 6th April. For example, if you become resident in January and sell a UK property in March of the same year then you would be taxed as a UK resident. However, if the sale is not completed until May of the same year you would be taxed as a non-resident.
.

Fiona Stacey

18:57 PM, 16th January 2018
About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Carol T at 01/06/2017 - 12:54
Hi Mark
Just a quick update from me. Thanks so much for replying to my question back in May 17 - you may want to re-read my post from then before going any further. I'm delighted to say we did move to Barbados in August 17 and I have much improved health. Although health is the main reason for being here, saving some CGT would be a very welcome bonus. I believe that I am very clearly non-resident since August 17 and HMRC have accepted my new location.
As mentioned I have 5 rental properties in my sole name and would like to be free to return to the UK, health permitting, after 5 or 6 years if possible. I have a question about the 5 year rule.
In order to minimise the time I have to be abroad, can I sell them at any time during the 5 complete tax years (which start on 6/4/18), or do I have to sell them all during the first complete tax year (18/19) and then be away for the remainder of the 5 tax years? In other words, is it 5 years after I sell the final property or just 5 years in total?
My ideal would be to sell one property a year because putting 5 on the market this April would be a bit overwhelming and risky. But perhaps if I do decide to sell one a year, I would not be able to become UK resident again for 10 tax years?

Mark Alexander

19:15 PM, 16th January 2018
About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fiona Stacey at 16/01/2018 - 18:57
Hi Fiona

I’m glad your enjoying Apain and that you’re in good health.

Just because you are non resident for CGT purposes in the U.K. does not mean you will not pay any in Spain. I strongly recommend you check that. I do not advise on Spanish tax law.

I know that not a direct answer to the question you asked but I think it needs to be your priority to look into the point I have raised. You may even have to pay more CGT in Spain than you would in the U.K.

Fiona Stacey

19:30 PM, 16th January 2018
About 11 months ago

Hi Mark
I'm not the Spain person. Mine is the top article which starts ''following a brain haemorrhage''. The only two countries involved are the UK and Barbados.
It's just a question about how the 5 year rule works in practice.
Hope you are enjoying Malta!

CazT

9:37 AM, 17th January 2018
About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Mark Alexander at 16/01/2018 - 19:15
Ooops, wrong thread Mark.....it was me asking about tax issues in relation to tenants in common split. 😎🇪🇸

Mark Alexander

10:03 AM, 17th January 2018
About 11 months ago

Reply to the comment left by Fiona Stacey at 16/01/2018 - 19:30
Hi Fiona

You are considered to be a temporary non-resident for your first 5 tax years as a non-resident. If you return to the UK within that 5 year period, any non-resident tax benefits you had claimed would be repayable.

Providing you remain non-resident for at least 5 years, it makes absolutely no difference whether you claimed non-resident CGT rates at the beginning of your first full year or the end of your 5th full year. If you were to return to the UK in year six no additional CGT would become payable.

It is a common misconception that the five year clock starts again every time you claim non-resident CGT rates.

I know this will be the answer your're looking for and I have had it double checked before posting this comment.


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