UK residential property – disposals from April 2020

Our blog from November 2019 discussed the new reporting requirements for residential properties disposed of from April 2020.

As the new rules are now in place, it is important to fully understand them and ensure you are declaring the correct information and tax to HMRC. There are many financial and legal considerations to make when disposing of property, but have you considered the tax implications and filing requirements?

We have listed below the main questions and answers regarding the new reporting requirements.

Who is affected?

Individuals (UK or non UK resident) and trustees now need to declare a disposal of UK residential property to HMRC and pay the appropriate Capital Gains Tax (CGT) within 30 days of the completion of sale.

A separate return needs to be submitted for each disposal, unless more than one property was disposed and completed on the same date.

What is a disposal?

The new rules apply to residential properties gifted or sold, so you don’t necessarily have to sell the property and receive proceeds to have a CGT liability.  If in doubt, please speak to your tax advisor to check if you will need to report the disposal.

How do I report the disposal to HMRC?

All individuals need a tax account regardless of whether they will file the return themselves or ask their agent to file it on their behalf. 

If you would like your agent to report the disposal on your behalf, you will have to request a ‘CGT on UK property reference number’ on your own tax account to provide to your agent and give permission for the return to be filed for you.

What if I am selling my main home?

Relief is available for individuals selling their main home and no CGT will likely be due as long as you lived in the property throughout the total ownership.  If full relief applies and there is no capital gain made, you do not need to report the disposal to HMRC.

Partial relief is available if you lived in it for some of the time or if you let out the property whilst also living there.  Please seek advice from your advisor if you need advice on selling a house you have not always used as your main home. 

Please also note that a married couple or civil partnership can only have one ‘main home’ between them for CGT purposes.

How do I calculate the tax?

The amount of CGT you pay depends on a lot of factors:

  • Your other taxable income
  • Your other capital disposals in the year prior to the disposal you are reporting
  • Capital losses you have brought forward from earlier years
  • Reliefs available to you
  • Annual exemption available to you
  • Allowable costs incurred during sale
  • Costs involved when you originally purchased the property
  • Capital improvements made to the property

Calculating the CGT due can be complex and we would recommend asking your advisor to calculate this on your behalf.  The gain will be taxed at a rate of 18% or 28%, or a blended rate between the two.  Your taxable income in the year determines the CGT rate because, if you are a basic rate taxpayer, you will pay CGT at 18% and a higher rate taxpayer will pay CGT at 28%.

The CGT is often estimated as the disposal may be early in the tax year before you are aware of your taxable income for the tax year. 

If the CGT was not correct, the difference will be calculated and paid when you file your self-assessment tax return. You can also amend the CGT return at any point once final figures are held, if estimated details were previously used.

It’s important to understand that a self-assessment tax return isn’t due to be filed until 31 January following the end of the tax year of the sale, so there can be a long delay in receiving a refund of tax overpaid or having to pay additional taxes if your calculation was incorrect. 


Mr Walker sold a residential property on 1 July 2020. He declared a capital gain of £50,000 and paid CGT to HMRC in the same month. His self-assessment tax return for 2020/21 is not submitted until 31 January 2020, 18 months after the property sale. His actual CGT liability was higher than his original estimate and he will have to pay the additional tax to HMRC, at which point he may no longer have retained the sale proceeds or have cash available.

What if my property is overseas?

You are not required to report the disposal within 30 days if the property is not in the UK. If you currently file a UK self-assessment tax return, then the gain can be reported on your return as normal, otherwise you can report the disposal using the HMRC real time capital gains service.

Do I also need to file a self-assessment tax return?

If you usually submit a self-assessment tax return you will still be required to submit one. You must declare the disposal on your tax return, taking into account the CGT you have previously calculated and paid using the 30 day reporting service. If the originally calculated CGT was not correct, the difference will be calculated and paid when you submit your self-assessment tax return. Similarly, any overpayment will be refunded.

What if I miss the deadline? 

A late filing penalty of £100 will apply if you do not report the disposal to HMRC within 30 days of completion. The penalty increases to 5% of the total tax due, or £300 if greater, if the return is more than 6 months late.

Late payment interest will apply if the tax is paid late.

How can we help?

Our Private Client tax team are experienced in dealing with CGT disposals and can assist you with reporting the disposal to HMRC, as well as calculating the CGT for you. 

We have helped our clients understand the tax reliefs available to them, to ensure the CGT is calculated correctly including the appropriate relief, meaning they did not have cashflow issues by paying too much upfront and having to claim the refund back when they file their self-assessment tax return.

We understand the process of our clients setting up a tax account. Although it is not ideal to some who aren’t used to doing this, with our step-by-step instructions it is a pain free process. We then take the hassle out of their hands once the initial account set up is complete. Selling a house can be stressful, particularly if it is your current main home, and we can help take some of the admin burden from you by checking your CGT position and declaring the sale to HMRC on your behalf, if required.

Please do not hesitate to contact us at if you require our assistance or have any queries.

MHA Construction & Real Estate Survey 2020

The MHA Construction & Real Estate specialist team works closely together to ensure our clients in the sector are supported during this challenging time.

The team have compiled a short survey for our clients to complete.

Your responses will be used to compile benchmark data, which will help us better understand how the sector is responding to current challenges. This will form the foundation of our Construction & Real Estate Report, due out in September.

Fill in the survey

Our short survey consists of 6 sections and should take no more than 10 minutes to complete:

All responses will remain anonymous and we will publish them as part of our Report. Thank you for your support.

Five month delay to introduction of the Domestic Reverse Charge for VAT

HMRC have announced a further five month delay to the introduction of the Domestic Reverse Charge for VAT, due to the impact of COVID-19.

On Friday 5 June 2020, HMRC issued Revenue and Customs Brief 7 (2020) announcing that the introduction of the Domestic Reverse Charge for construction services will be delayed for a further period of 5 months, until 1 March 2021, due to the impact of COVID-19 on the construction sector.

Whilst the introduction is delayed, HMRC again confirmed they remain committed to the introduction of the reverse charge. In the intervening period, HMRC will focus additional resource on identifying and tackling existing perpetrators of fraud in the sector.

Given the additional delay, it would appear less likely that HMRC will be sympathetic to businesses failing to get ready for the changes, for example by adapting their accounting systems etc.  It is therefore important businesses use the additional time to better prepare for the changes as a light touch approach by HMRC is less likely now.

Contact us

For more information please contact Hydeam Sulton, Head of VAT and Indirect Tax, on 0191 226 8351.

Could sale and leaseback of your commercial property be the answer to your cashflow concerns?

As we continue to stumble through lockdown, several trends have appeared across markets, with business owners looking at a range of options to support cashflow during a period of much reduced trading.

The latest trend is property sale and leaseback, with Topps Tiles being a notable business who have recently executed a transaction of this nature.

This is an arrangement whereby businesses who own their trading premises can sell that asset to an investor and then enter into a long term lease arrangement with the purchaser. Such a move has an immediate cash flow boost as the proceeds of any such sale are paid directly to the business making the sale, less any debt which may exist which uses that asset as security.

Such an arrangement also has the benefit of a long term lease which ensures that the property asset remains available for use across the lease term, with the lease then set at an agreed price. Property investors will look for strong counterparts who can demonstrate an ability to trade profitability across the envisaged lease term and tend to be drawn towards higher value assets in ‘good’ locations, with consideration given as to how easily the asset could be repositioned toward a new tenant in future years.

Positioning for such a transaction and finding a suitable financier is not easy but could well be useful for businesses as we continue through 2020.

Contact us

We can assist with a review of your assets, your financial performance and make introductions should this be a strategy which you would like to explore.

For further advice, please contact Lee Humble at