UK capital gains tax liability of temporary non-residents

Produced by Tolley

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • UK capital gains tax liability of temporary non-residents
  • Introduction
  • Starting point
  • Individuals with a year of departure of 2013/14 or later
  • Effect of being treated as a temporary non-resident (year of departure 2013/14 onwards)
  • Capital gains
  • Capital losses
  • Assets acquired during period of temporary non-residence
  • Foreign tax
  • Interaction with NRCGT rules
  • More...

UK capital gains tax liability of temporary non-residents

Introduction

Anyone returning to the UK after a period of absence should consider whether the temporary non-residence anti-avoidance provisions apply.

The temporary non-residence rules apply where an individual has been resident in the UK at any time during at least four of the seven tax years prior to departure and is non-resident in the UK for five years or less. Where this is the case, the anti-avoidance rules mean that certain types of UK and foreign income and gains which arose during the period of non-residence are taxed in the tax year in which the individual returns to the UK.

The temporary non-residence rules were significantly changed with effect from 6 April 2013 as part of the introduction of the statutory residence test. The legislation was then rewritten in 2019 with the intention to modernise and simplify the structure of the UK capital gains rules as well as to accommodate the rules on disposals of interests in assets relating to UK land by non-UK residents, without changing the meaning of the temporary non-residence rules. Where the legislation has been restated, the legislative links to the previous law shown in this guidance note are for reference only.

Starting point

When dealing with the capital gains tax (CGT) implications of an individual leaving the UK, the starting point is to establish whether or not the individual is UK resident.

Generally, non-residents are not subject to UK CGT on disposals of chargeable assets (whether or not these assets are sited in the UK). However this is subject to three main exclusions:

  1. the temporary non-residence rules, which apply to all chargeable assets held prior to departure which are subject to disposal whilst the individual is non-resident for a short period

  2. the non-resident capital gains tax (NRCGT) rules, which were introduced from 6 April 2015 to apply to disposals of UK residential property and were expanded from 6 April 2019 to encompass UK non-residential property and indirect disposals

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