FAQ Guide: Understanding Capital Gains Tax on the Sale of Investment Property in the UK

Author: Chris Neame BFP FCA CA(ANZ)


Selling an investment property in the UK can lead to a capital gains tax (CGT) liability. This guide provides answers to common questions about how CGT applies to the scale of investment property, helping you to understand your tax responsibilities and how to potentially reduce your tax bill.


Defining Capital Gains Tax

Q: What is capital gains tax?

A: Capital gains tax is a tax on the profit (the ‘gain’) you make when you sell (or ‘dispose of’) an asset that has increased in value. It is the gain you make that is taxed, not the amount of money you receive.


Determining CGT Liability

Q: How do I determine if I owe capital gains tax on my investment property?


  • Calculate the Gain: Determine the difference between the selling price of the property and the price you paid when you purchased it. From this, subtract any allowable deductions such as enhancement costs or professional fees related to the sale.
  • Determine the Taxable Gain: Apply any reliefs or exemptions you may be eligible for, such as Private Residence Relief if the property was once your main home.


Current CGT Rates

Q: What are the current rates of capital gains tax on property in the UK?

A: As of the current tax year, the capital gains tax rates on property for basic-rate taxpayers are 18%, and for higher or additional-rate taxpayers, the rates are 24%. These rates apply to residential properties that are not your main home.


CGT Allowances

Q: Are there any allowances that reduce my capital gains tax?

A: Yes, each individual has an annual CGT allowance, known as the Annual Exempt Amount. For the tax year 2024-2025, this is £3,000. Any gains below this amount in total across all disposals in the year are tax-free.


Reducing CGT Liability

Q: How can I reduce my capital gains tax liability when selling an investment property?


  • Timing: Consider the timing of the sale, as spreading the gain across two tax years might help in utilising more than one year’s Annual Exempt Amount.
  • Offset Losses: If you have made any losses on other capital disposals, you can offset these against your gain.
  • Enhancement Costs: Include any costs incurred in improving the property as these can be deducted from the gain.


Private Residence Relief

Q: What if I have lived in the property at some point?

A: If the property sold was your main home at any point during your ownership, you might qualify for Private Residence Relief, which can significantly reduce your capital gains tax liability.


Reporting and Payment Deadlines

Q: When do I need to report and pay capital gains tax?

A: You must report and pay any capital gains tax due within 60 days of the sale using the HMRC’s Capital Gains Tax on UK property account.


Getting More Information

Q: Where can I get more information or help with my capital gains tax?

A: For detailed advice specific to your situation, it’s recommended to consult with a tax professional or accountant. You can also visit the HMRC website for more information and guidance on capital gains tax.



Understanding how capital gains tax affects the sale of your investment property can help you plan effectively and potentially reduce your tax burden. Proper planning and seeking professional advice are crucial in managing your tax obligations efficiently.

For any further queries, please don’t hesitate to reach out via our Client Services email. We’re here to help!


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