Six to eight weeks

Keith Gordon looks at a case which concerns the application of the main residence exemption after only a few weeks of occupation

The exemption from capital gains tax in respect of a taxpayer’s only or main residence is perhaps the widest known tax rule in the UK. The alternative view is that the usual absence of any tax charge on the disposal of one’s home means that the possibility of tax being payable escapes most people’s consciousness.

Either way, tax advisers will know that the true position is considerably more nuanced than most people realise. This article discusses the recent case of Core v HMRC [2020] UKFTT 440 (TC) which focuses on the meaning of ‘residence’. At the heart of that statutory word is the requirement that the individual’s occupation of the property must be of sufficient quality to represent a place of residence rather than a mere temporary presence.