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Thinking about selling a rental property?

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With rising interest rates and inflation driving the costs of owning a rental property ever higher, many landlords have been downsizing their property portfolio or exiting the market altogether. What do landlords need to think about before selling a buy-to-let property, in terms of capital gains tax and tax planning?

Capital gains tax

House values have jumped significantly in recent years, so many landlords will face paying capital gains tax if they dispose of a rental property where they’ve made a gain.

To compound matters, in the Spring Budget 2023, the Government announced massive reductions for the “annual exemption” which helps to reduce capital gains tax payable. The allowance has already been cut from £12,300 to £6,000, and is set to be slashed again down to £3,000 in 2024/25. This will mean even more landlords are charged capital gains tax on the disposal of a buy-to-let property.

Reporting

Where capital gains tax is payable on the disposal of a UK residential property, you must report the transaction and pay the tax within 60 days of completion. This can be done online via the gov.uk website.

Failure to report and pay by the deadline will result in HMRC levying penalties and interest until the reporting is completed and the tax is paid, so it’s very important for taxpayers to be mindful of this deadline.

The disposal will also need to be reported in your self-assessment tax return (if you normally have to a file a tax return), with credit given for tax already paid.

Tax planning

There are, in some circumstances, ways to help reduce or eliminate a capital gains tax liability by careful planning prior to the disposal taking place. If selling a buy-to-let is something you’re considering, get in touch with your usual Larking Gowen contact who will be happy to help. You can find contact details in the Our People section of our website. Alternatively, call 0330 024 0888 or email enquiry@larking-gowen.co.uk.

Emma Walker

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Larking Gowen

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