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HMRC urge people to prepare for CGT payment change

Newsletter issue - April 2020.

Property owners are being urged to get ready for changes to the deadline of capital gains tax (CGT) payments.

Broadly, from 6 April 2020, a UK resident who sells a residential property in the UK will have 30 days to tell HMRC and pay any CGT Tax owed.

HMRC are currently developing a new online service to allow taxpayers to report and pay any CGT owed.

A CGT report and accompanying payment of tax may be required where the taxpayer sells or otherwise dispose of:

  • a property that they have not used as their main home;
  • a holiday home;
  • a property which has been let out for people to live in;
  • a property that has been inherited and not used as a main home.

There is no requirement to make a report or make a payment of tax when:

  • a legally binding contract for the sale was made before 6 April 2020;
  • the individual satisfies the test for Private Residence Relief (generally a main residence);
  • the sale was made to a spouse or civil partner;
  • the gains (including any other chargeable residential property gains in the same tax year) are within the tax free allowance known as the annual exempt amount (£12,300 in 2020/21);
  • the property is sold for a loss; or
  • the property is outside the UK.

Subject to certain exceptions, where there has been a disposal of a residential property, payment on account of the CGT will be due on the filing date for the return, which is generally within 30 days of the day after the date the property sale is completed.

The payment on account required is the amount of CGT notionally chargeable at the filing date. This is the tax that would be due if, under the normal rules for calculating chargeable gains for a tax year, the tax year ended at the time the disposal is completed.

In calculating the amount, any unused allowable losses for capital gains purposes incurred by the time the disposal is completed can be used. Available reliefs and the annual exempt amount are applied in the normal way.

The amount of CGT payable on account is the amount after applying the applicable rate of tax to the net gain.

Since the 30-day payment window can make it difficult for some people to provide exact figures, HMRC allow for certain estimates and assumptions to be made. The taxpayer can make a correction once the exact figures are known. If the resulting amount is higher than the amount previously paid, the difference becomes payable to HMRC and interest may be due. If the amount is lower, the difference becomes repayable along with repayment interest from HMRC.

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