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Where Taxpayers and Advisers Meet

non resident selling UK home

Brightonian
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:31 pm

non resident selling UK home

Postby Brightonian » Tue Jul 14, 2020 5:15 pm

I am wondering if I am being a little naive here.A foreign national buys a house in the UK and lives in it, as his main residence, for some years before going to work abroad in various countries. He has no intention of ever returning to the UK. He lets the UK property out. Finally, in 2020 he decides to sell it. Can he make use of the exemption for a period of absence from the UK (S.223(3)(b)) to extinguish any gain? I believe that he does not have to resume residence where he is prevented returning by the location of his work. I know that the legislation is aimed at UK nationals going to work abroad but is there anything to prevent its application in the circumstances I have outlined? I do wonder though, if the fact that he has bought a house in Canada, where he now lives and works, may be a stumbling block. Has anyone come across this situation please?

darthblingbling
Posts: 351
Joined: Wed Aug 02, 2017 9:09 pm

Re: non resident selling UK home

Postby darthblingbling » Tue Jul 14, 2020 10:34 pm

He can, but he must elect to be taxed on the retrospective method. So ensure that PPR does cover the full period if such an election is made

bd6759
Posts: 3200
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: non resident selling UK home

Postby bd6759 » Wed Jul 15, 2020 9:08 am

Only if if during the period of absence:
1. he hasn't acquired another residence, and
2. he has remained in the same employment as he was whilst in the UK.

Brightonian
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:31 pm

Re: non resident selling UK home

Postby Brightonian » Wed Jul 15, 2020 3:39 pm

Thank you both for taking the time to respond. I see that there are several pitfalls here.
He worked for several different employers during his period of absence but there was never a substantial gap between any of them. I did not think that the number of employments made a difference.
He did buy a house in Canada a number of years ago. Does that mean he cannot use the relief? Should he have elected to treat the UK property as his main residence? Could he have done so, given that it was being let out?

bd6759
Posts: 3200
Joined: Sat Feb 01, 2014 3:26 pm

Re: non resident selling UK home

Postby bd6759 » Thu Jul 16, 2020 10:48 pm

The absence has to be by reason of his employment. If he changes employment the absence is no longer by reason of the employment. He would need to re-occupy the property between employments.

If it were a qualifying absence, then he would have had to make a ppr nomination on the basis that he can only have one ppr. It being let doesn’t change this in a period of qualifying absence.

Brightonian
Posts: 109
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 3:31 pm

Re: non resident selling UK home

Postby Brightonian » Fri Jul 17, 2020 9:06 am

Thank you bd6759. I may have missed a trick on the nomination front but, as he did change employment several times without ever reoccupying the property, it does look as though it doesn't matter.


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