Prior to 6 April 2015, it was possible for a non-resident person to escape tax on sale of property in the United Kingdom. This meant that those who do not live here could profit from the extremely buoyant property market without contributing to the exchequer. In reaction to this, the rules were changed from 6 April 2015 so that the sale of a residential property would be chargeable to CGT on its increase in value from that date. There are several methods allowed as to how the gain may be calculated.
A consultation on the taxation of all immovable property was announced on Budget day to consider the extension of the taxation of residential property for non-residents to all properties. It will be effective for 2019/20 and include a rebasing provision for non-residential property to 1 April 2019 for companies and 6 April 2019 for other persons. However, the options to calculate the gain are proposed to be more restrictive than for residential property.
Further wide ranging proposals will mean that, if enacted as proposed, most, if not all, UK immovable property will be subject to capital gains tax even when held by offshore individuals, companies or otherwise.