The chancellor announced in the 2013 Autumn Statement that capital gains tax (CGT) on the disposal of UK residential property would be extended to non-UK residents. As things currently stand, non-residents are outside the scope of CGT altogether, subject to certain anti-avoidance provisions, for example where an individual is non-resident for fewer than five years. The extension of CGT to non-residents is therefore a significant change to the UK tax system, although as the consultation document makes clear, it will in fact bring the UK into line with the rest of the countries in the G8 and other comparable jurisdictions.
The proposed extension of the CGT rules follows hot on the heels of the regime introduced with effect from April 2013 that imposes an annual tax on certain residential properties owned by companies (and other legal entities) and a CGT charge at 28 per cent on disposal of such properties (known as the ‘ATED-related CGT charge’) even where the company that owns the property is non-resident. This ATED regime is being extended over the course of the next two years to properties worth between £1m and £2m on 1 April 2015 (from 6 April 2015) and between £500,000 and £1m on 1 April 2016 (from 6 April 2016). Taken together, these various measures highlight the importance of UK real estate to the UK government as a taxable asset class.
By The Lawyer