Taxes to eat you out of house and home

Property taxes can be complicated and catch you unawares, so it is important you take the time to understand the rules and regulations to ensure you don’t get caught out with unexpected tax to pay. Ian Tongue explores the more common taxes and potential problem areas that owners face.

Your main residence

Colorful London houses in Primrose hill, english architecture

For most, your ‘home’ or main residence is clear cut and it is rare that anyone would pay any capital gains tax on the disposal of their home. Stamp duty will have been paid on the purchase – more on that later.

Where complications can arise is when a property is retained after it being your main residence. It is possible to make an election for which property is your main residence, within certain time limits. MPs were extensively using this when the scandals of ‘flipping’ homes to avoid capital gains tax were revealed.