Private residence relief: lessons from recent case law by Senior Associate Helen McGhee

09 February 2020
Author: Helen McGhee
Helen McGhee

Case law concerning the availability of PPR relief continues to apply the legislation in a somewhat inconsistent and unpredictable manner, but some common themes can be identified: the taxpayer needs to be able to produce satisfactory evidence of an intention to reside in the property as a home, and the tribunals will look at both the length of time and the quality of occupation in considering such an intention. The availability of the relief is, however, being curtailed both by HMRC’s increasing eagerness to challenge taxpayer claims, as shown by recent case law and by further legislative changes in the draft Finance Bill 2019/20 provisions which are due to come into force in April. The lack of clarity provided by case law, coupled with a tinkering to the rules by Finance Acts, has led to an increasingly confused picture for taxpayers and consequently undermined their ability to properly plan their affairs.

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