The Government has made many headlines as the result of its desire to cut down on what has previously been thought to be legitimate tax planning and high on its list of targets are high value residential properties. The changes are a new annual residential property tax charge (a form of SDLT), increased rates of SDLT (already in force) and an extension of capital gains tax.

The table below outlines the tax position very briefly based on current drafts of the legislation but we have a more detailed client alert on the three tax charges for those who need more information.

Tax Who has to pay? Nature of properties affected Key features/ comments
Annual residential property SDLT charge Any company, partnership (where one partner is a company) and Collective Investment Scheme (NNPs) beneficially entitled to an interest in one or more dwellings. Trusts are not included, including where the trust has corporate trustees. Singe residential dwellings in the UK worth over £2m. Commences 1 April 2013.
NNP has to make a self-assessed return and pay the tax within 30 days of acquisition or by 30 April in most other cases, except for the first year, when the due date is 1 October 2013.
First five years charges are based on value at 1 April 2012. Revalued in 2017 for next five year period.
Tax bands between £15,000 and £140,000 (indexed).
Relief for property rental businesses, property developers, property traders, properties occupied by some employees and some farmhouses. Returns still required.
15% rate of SDLT for high value residential properties NNPs. Again trusts are excluded, including where the trust has corporate trustees UK residential property with chargeable consideration over £2m. Commenced 20 March 2012.
New and extended reliefs to bring the exemptions into line with the exemptions for the other tax charges (in draft Finance Bill 2013).
Proposed extension of capital gains tax on disposal of UK residential property Non-UK resident NNPs when selling any interest in high value residential property. Again trusts are excluded, including where the trust has corporate trustees. UK residential property worth over £2m. CGT will be charged at 28% upon the sale of the property itself but not on the sale of shares/securities in the relevant company.
Similar exemptions apply to the annual SDLT charge.
Principle private residence relief will not usually apply.
The charge will apply to sales taking place on or after 6 April 2013 by reference to the gain accrued after that date.
The charge does not apply on sale of properties owned by non-UK resident individuals.