Book review: Main Residence Relief (3rd Ed)

 In Book Reviews for Private Client practitioners, Tax

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by Ximena Montes Manzano, published by Claritax Books  |  ISBN 9781912386239

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) main residence relief has been altered several times in the past few years and it generates a large amount of case law. This edition is timely given the introduction of the CGT residential property portal where disposals have to be reported and tax paid within 30 days of completion of transactions. Practitioners need to be conversant with the many conditions applying to this important relief.

Purpose

The first part of this book examines the meaning of terms such as ‘residence’, ‘dwelling house’, ‘interest in a dwelling house’, ‘garden and grounds’, and  ‘job related accommodation’ with reference to extensive case law. The purpose behind this presumably is to tease out the meaning of key phrases in the legislation as discussed by the Courts. Given the author’s experience of representing clients in main residence relief cases it also provides a practical overview of the law in this area.

Content

The book is arranged over 13 chapters. Chapter 1 looks at the historical background to the introduction of CGT and the exemption from charge in relation to a person’s main residence. Chapters 2 – 5 explore the legislation and the court decisions which have sought to explain it. Chapter 6 moves into more practical content as it explores the scheme of the relief and how to compute it taking into account periods of absence.

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Chapter 7 examines residential lettings and the relationship with income tax ‘rent-a-room’ relief. Chapter 8 explains the ability to make an election as to which property might be the taxpayer’s main residence when more than one residential property is owned. Chapter 9 outlines the restrictions on the relief.

Chapters 10 – 12 deal with specific taxpayers and the rules which relate to taxpayers when divorcing (Chapter 10); trustees and personal representatives (Chapter 11) and dependent relative provision (Chapter 12).

Finally, Chapter 13 looks at the Inheritance Tax residence nil rate band and how it differs in dealing with a dwelling house.

Structure & Layout

The book is laid out in chapters and numbered paragraphs within each chapter. There is a useful reference at the end of most paragraphs listing the relevant references be it legislation or case law or some other relevant cross reference. A few examples and computations are provided in more practical chapters. There is an appendix which deals with lettings relief for disposals prior to 6 April 2020.

There is a table of references to sections in legislation and there is a table of cases.

Clarity & readability

The style of writing is clear and concise. It is written from the author’s wide experience of successfully representing and defending her clients’ entitlement to main residence relief as a Barrister in various cases.

Relevance to practitioners

Any practitioner who advises on tax and acts in trusts and estates will need to know about the application of main residence relief for CGT. It is all to easy to assume that the relief will apply but the devil is always in the detail. This book enables the practitioner to get to the nub of the problem easily.

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