Tax free capital gains – private residence relief

If you dispose of a dwelling house (which can include a house, flat, houseboat or fixed caravan) which is your home, or part of a dwelling house which is your home, or• part of the garden attached to your home , you would normally have to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on any gain you make.

However, you will be entitled to full relief from any capital gains tax liability where all the following conditions are met:

  • the dwelling house has been your only or main residence throughout your period of ownership, and
  • you have not been absent, other than for an allowed period of absence or because you have been living in job-related accommodation, during your period of ownership
  • the garden or grounds including the buildings on them are not greater than a specified area, and
  • no part of your home has been used exclusively for business purposes during your period of ownership.

If you meet all of these conditions, you will not have to pay CGT on the disposal.

Consideration of the tax position if you own more than one property which you have occupied in a tax year, or if the above conditions are only partly met, will need to be considered in some detail.

Relief for the disposal of a private residence can also be complicated when owners marry, divorce or permanently separate.