CGT Update

As we await expectantly for the dreaded ‘B’ day on the 22nd this month, those of us in the private residential sector can only speculate on the controversial hike in capital gains tax.

George Osborne is aware he could face rebellion from Conservative MPs, should he raise CGT more than 25 per cent.  The LibDems proposed blanket rise was initially aimed to fund a threshold of income tax to £10,000 for those living on a lower income.

Considering the implementation of this tax cut would cost the treasury £17billion a year, would a hike from the current 18 per cent to 40/50 percent cover such a sum?  Considering those who would be affected by the CGT increase, it’s presumerably safe to say that they could well afford to sit on their assets and dodge paying any CGT, thus providing less revenue, then in previous years.  The advantages of the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, which is not affected by the rise, could well prove to be a safe haven for such people.

If only a mere £7.6 billion was raised through CGT in 2007-2008, it becomes evident that a blanket rise of this proportion could never cover the total revenue to pay for the whole £17 billion tax cut.  As the news of late has speculated, a tapered tax is looking more and more likely, reducing the tax on assets and applying indexation ensuring asset price increases are not taxed by inflation.

As the PRS industry looks on, we would like to see Mr. Osborne classify buy-to-let properties as a business investment and taxed at a lower CGT rate, all we can do is wait and see.

Madalena Penny