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Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax On Inherited Property?

Understanding Capital Gains Tax on Inherited Property in the UK

Yes, in the UK, you may pay Capital Gains Tax on inherited property if you sell it and it has increased in value since the deceased's death. The tax is on the profit made, considering the property's value at the time of inheritance as its base cost. But the real answer is more than a "Yes" or "No". Inheriting property in the UK brings several tax considerations, with Capital Gains Tax (CGT) being a significant one for many. When you inherit a property, it's crucial to understand how CGT applies, especially when considering selling the inherited property.

Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax On Inherited Property

Overview of Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

CGT is levied on the profit (the gain) you make from selling a property that has increased in value. It's the increase in value that's subject to tax, not the total selling price. For instance, if a property was bought for £200,000 and sold for £250,000, the £50,000 profit is what could be taxed under CGT.

Inherited Property and CGT

For inherited properties, the base value for CGT calculation is the property's probate value, essentially its market value at the time of the previous owner's death. If the property sells for more than this probate value, the difference is considered a gain, potentially subject to CGT. Conversely, if sold for less, it may result in a loss, which could affect your tax position beneficially.

CGT Allowances and Exemptions

Every individual in the UK has an annual CGT allowance. For the 2023/2024 tax year, this allowance is set at £6,000, meaning gains up to this amount in a year are not taxed. From April 2024, this allowance is scheduled to reduce to £3,000.

Several reliefs may reduce CGT on an inherited property, notably:

  • Principal Private Residence Relief: Applies if the property has been your main home.

  • Letting Relief: Available if you've let out part or all of the property.

  • Annual Exempt Amount: The first £6,000 (£3,000 from April 2024) of your total gains in a tax year is tax-free.

Real-Life Application

Consider the scenario of an individual who inherits a property valued at £400,000 at the time of the previous owner's death. If they later sell the property for £460,000, the taxable gain would be the difference (£60,000) minus any allowable costs and the CGT allowance.

If the individual is a basic rate taxpayer, the rate of CGT would be 18%; for higher or additional rate taxpayers, it rises to 28%. However, these rates and thresholds can vary, highlighting the importance of consulting with a tax professional to navigate these complex areas effectively.

Calculating CGT

The process involves subtracting the probate value and any eligible costs from the selling price to determine the gain. From this gain, subtract the CGT allowance to find the taxable amount. The CGT rate applied depends on your income tax band.

Capital Gains Tax Rates On Inherited Property

Calculator for Capital Gains Tax On Inherited Property

NOTE: This calculator provides a basic framework for a Corporation Tax calculator. Real-world tax calculations could be significantly more complex, considering various deductions, reliefs, and specific conditions applicable to different types of businesses. Always consult with a tax professional for accurate tax advice and calculations.

Seeking Professional Advice

Given the intricacies of CGT calculations and potential reliefs, seeking professional advice is highly recommended. Tax consultants or inheritance tax accountants can provide guidance tailored to your specific situation, ensuring compliance while optimizing your tax liability.

In summary, while inheriting a property in the UK does not directly trigger CGT, selling that property at a profit does. Understanding the rules, allowances, and reliefs available can help manage potential tax liabilities effectively.

Navigating the Complexities of Selling Inherited Property

When you inherit property in the UK, understanding the nuances of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is crucial, particularly if you decide to sell. This part of the article delves into the practical steps and strategies for managing CGT effectively, including real-life examples and the latest tax updates for 2024.

Strategies for Reducing CGT on Inherited Property

Managing CGT efficiently can significantly impact the net gain from the sale of an inherited property. Here are several strategies to consider:

  • Principal Private Residence Relief (PPRR): If you live in the inherited property as your main residence, you may qualify for PPRR, which can significantly reduce or eliminate CGT.

  • Letting Relief: If the property was let out, you might be eligible for Letting Relief, which can also reduce the CGT due.

  • Annual Exempt Amount: Utilize your annual CGT allowance (£6,000 for 2023/2024, reducing to £3,000 in 2024/2025) to offset against any gains.

Case Study: Sarah's Inheritance

To illustrate, consider Sarah's situation. She inherited a property valued at £400,000 and sold it for £460,000 two years later. By understanding and applying her CGT allowance and eligible deductions for improvements and selling expenses, Sarah was able to reduce her taxable gain significantly.

Reporting and Paying CGT

The UK tax system requires individuals to report and pay CGT within a specific timeframe. Since April 2020, if you sell a UK property and owe CGT, you must report and pay the tax within 60 days of the sale. Failure to meet this deadline can result in penalties and interest.

Updated CGT Rates for 2024

It's important to note that CGT rates depend on your overall income level. For 2023/2024, the rates are 18% for basic rate taxpayers and 28% for higher and additional rate taxpayers on property gains. However, these rates are set to change in April 2024, with a reduction for higher and additional rate taxpayers to 24%, making it a critical consideration for planning the sale of an inherited property.

Impact of Losses on CGT

If you sell an inherited property at a loss, or if you have other capital losses, these can be deducted from your gains to reduce your CGT liability. Unused losses can be carried forward to future years, potentially offsetting gains on other assets.

Importance of Professional Advice

Given the complexities and potential for significant financial impact, seeking professional tax advice is advisable. Tax professionals can provide personalized guidance based on your circumstances, helping to navigate the rules, optimize your tax position, and ensure compliance with reporting requirements.

In conclusion, selling an inherited property in the UK requires careful consideration of CGT implications. By understanding the allowances, reliefs, and strategies available, and with the right advice, you can navigate the process more effectively and optimize your financial outcome.

Maximizing Benefits and Understanding Exemptions

The final part of navigating Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on inherited property in the UK focuses on leveraging exemptions, understanding the impact of legislative changes for 2024, and the importance of estate planning to minimize tax liabilities.

Leveraging Exemptions and Reliefs

Several exemptions and reliefs can significantly impact the CGT calculations on the sale of inherited property:

  • Spousal Transfers: Transfers between spouses or civil partners are typically exempt from CGT, providing a strategic way to minimize tax liability.

  • Principal Private Residence Relief (PPRR): As mentioned earlier, living in the inherited property as your main residence can offer substantial relief from CGT.

  • Letting Relief: Provides a potential deduction for those who have let out their inherited property.

  • Annual Exempt Amount: The reduction of the CGT allowance to £3,000 in the 2024-2025 tax year emphasizes the importance of planning sales around tax years to maximize this allowance.

Estate Planning Considerations

Effective estate planning can significantly affect the CGT implications for beneficiaries. For instance, understanding the inheritance tax (IHT) implications and the available nil-rate bands can influence decisions about bequeathing property.

The residence nil-rate band, an additional threshold available when a direct descendant inherits a home, was £175,000 for the 2023/2024 tax year. This amount can significantly reduce the IHT due, affecting the estate's overall tax strategy.

Inheritance Tax and CGT

While CGT concerns the gain realized on the sale of an inherited property, IHT is charged on the estate of the person who has died. Knowing how these taxes interact is crucial. For example, properties inherited between spouses or civil partners are typically exempt from IHT, potentially affecting future CGT calculations.

The Importance of Record-Keeping

Maintaining thorough records is crucial for calculating CGT accurately. This includes documentation of the probate value, costs associated with maintaining or improving the property, and expenses incurred during the sale. These records can help substantiate claims for deductions and reliefs.

Professional Guidance

The complexity of CGT, coupled with its interplay with IHT and personal tax circumstances, means professional advice is invaluable. Tax professionals can offer strategies for minimizing tax liabilities, ensuring compliance, and optimizing the financial outcome of selling inherited property.

Understanding and managing CGT on inherited property requires a comprehensive approach, considering exemptions, reliefs, and the broader tax context. With careful planning, informed strategies, and professional guidance, beneficiaries can navigate these responsibilities effectively, ensuring a favorable financial outcome while complying with UK tax regulations.

The landscape of property taxation in the UK, especially concerning inherited property, is nuanced and subject to change. Staying informed, seeking advice, and strategic planning are key to managing potential tax liabilities efficiently.

What Happens If I Inherit a Property with a Mortgage

Inheriting a property with a mortgage in the UK presents several options and considerations, particularly regarding the mortgage's settlement and the property's future. When you inherit such a property, essentially, you're faced with the mortgage alongside the asset. The course of action can vary based on the deceased's will, the estate's capacity to cover debts, and your personal financial situation.

Paying off the mortgage through the estate:

If the will specifies or there are sufficient assets within the estate, debts including the mortgage can be settled before the property is transferred to you. This process simplifies the inheritance, freeing the property from its mortgage burden, but it hinges on the estate's liquidity and the specifics outlined in the will.

Assuming the mortgage or securing a new one:

Should you choose to retain the property, you might need to either take over the existing mortgage or secure a new one in your name. This move is subject to lender approval and your ability to meet the mortgage affordability criteria, especially if you already have a mortgage on another property. It's a path that requires careful financial planning and possibly negotiation with the mortgage lender.

Selling the property:

Another common resolution is to sell the inherited property. This decision might stem from an inability to afford the mortgage or a lack of desire to keep the property. Selling can provide the funds to clear the mortgage and any associated costs, with any remaining proceeds distributed as per the will's directives or among the beneficiaries. Selling for cash might expedite this process, particularly useful if avoiding ongoing costs like mortgage interest, maintenance, and council taxes is crucial.

Renting out the property:

If holding onto the property and covering the mortgage is feasible, renting it out could be a financially viable option. This would require converting the existing mortgage to a buy-to-let if it's not already designated as such, subject to lender approval and market conditions. Rental income can offset mortgage payments and maintenance costs, though it introduces landlord responsibilities and potential tax implications.

Joint mortgage considerations:

Inheriting a property under a joint mortgage adds layers of complexity. The ownership and debt responsibilities might shift entirely to the surviving owner under joint tenancy or become part of the estate to be handled according to the will in other arrangements. These scenarios necessitate legal advice to navigate the implications for inheritance, mortgage responsibility, and beneficiary rights.

In all instances, navigating the inheritance of a property with a mortgage demands careful consideration of legal, financial, and tax implications. Professional advice from solicitors, mortgage advisors, and tax experts can provide clarity, ensuring compliance with legal requirements while optimizing the financial outcome. Each path offers its set of challenges and opportunities, making it essential to assess your situation, the estate's conditions, and long-term financial goals before making a decision.

CGT for Inherited Properties Non-UK Residents

For non-UK residents inheriting properties in the UK, navigating the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) landscape requires understanding specific rules and regulations that have evolved significantly over recent years. Here's a concise guide tailored for non-UK residents dealing with CGT on inherited properties.

Tax Rates and Reliefs: 

CGT rates for non-UK residents on residential properties are 18% for basic rate taxpayers and 28% for higher or additional rate taxpayers, similar to those for UK residents. However, various reliefs may apply to reduce the taxable gain, such as Private Residence Relief if the property was your main residence at any point.

Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs): 

DTAs between the UK and other countries can significantly impact how capital gains are taxed. Some agreements may exempt gains from UK tax, subjecting them instead to tax in the resident's country. It's crucial to review the DTA between the UK and your country of residence to understand your liabilities.

Special Rules Since April 2015: 

A significant change came into effect on April 6, 2015, bringing UK residential properties owned by non-UK residents within the scope of CGT. Since then, both direct and indirect disposals of UK property by non-residents are subject to CGT, with the option to assess gains based on the property's market value as of April 5, 2015. This rule was extended in April 2019 to include all types of UK property, not just residential.

Reporting and Payment: 

Non-resident landlords and property investors are required to file a Non-Resident Capital Gain Tax (NRCGT) return and pay the CGT within 60 days of property disposal. It's crucial to stay compliant with these requirements to avoid penalties​ (UKPropTax)​.

Annual Exempt Amount and Allowances: 

For the tax year 2023–2024, the annual exempt amount stands at £6,000 for individuals, which means CGT is only payable on gains that exceed this amount. However, from April 2024 onwards, this exemption will be reduced to £3,000.

Professional Advice: 

Given the complexities involved, especially considering DTAs and the choice between calculating gains based on the market value at April 5, 2015, or the actual sale price, seeking professional advice is recommended. A tax advisor specialized in non-resident tax affairs can help ensure you're paying the correct amount and taking advantage of any applicable reliefs or exemptions.

In summary, for non-UK residents inheriting UK properties, understanding and managing CGT liabilities requires careful consideration of the rules that apply specifically to non-residents, the impact of DTAs, and the strategic use of reliefs and exemptions. Consulting with a tax professional familiar with the nuances of UK CGT for non-residents is advisable to navigate these complexities effectively.

A RealLife (Hypothetical) Case Study of Paying Capital Gains Tax On Inherited Property in the UK

In this case study, we'll examine the journey of "Alex," who inherits a property in the UK, navigating the complexities of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the process. This scenario will highlight real-life issues, calculations, and strategic considerations involved in managing CGT on inherited properties.


Alex, a non-UK resident, inherits a three-bedroom house in Bristol from an aunt in April 2021. The probate value of the house at the time of the aunt's death is £350,000. Alex is unfamiliar with UK property tax laws and contemplates selling the property.

Initial Considerations

Alex's first step is to understand the CGT implications. Since April 2015, non-UK residents are liable for CGT on gains from UK property sales. The property's probate value becomes the base cost for CGT calculation if Alex decides to sell.

Market Value Rebasing

Alex learns about the option to rebase the property’s market value to April 5, 2015, for CGT purposes. Given the property was inherited in 2021, this rebasing does not apply directly to Alex's case, but it's a crucial consideration for calculating gains on properties owned before this date.

Decision to Sell and Calculating CGT

In December 2023, Alex decides to sell the property for £450,000 after consultations and market evaluations. To calculate the CGT, Alex uses the probate value as the base cost, with the selling price reflecting the market value:

  • Base cost (probate value, April 2021): £350,000

  • Selling price (December 2023): £450,000

  • Gain: £450,000 - £350,000 = £100,000

Given the CGT annual exempt amount for 2023/24 is £6,000, Alex can deduct this from the gain, resulting in a taxable gain of £94,000.

CGT Rate and Liability

As a non-UK resident, Alex's CGT rate depends on total taxable income and gains. Assuming Alex falls into the higher tax bracket, a 28% CGT rate applies to the gain. Thus, Alex's CGT liability on the property sale is 28% of £94,000 = £26,320.

Strategic Considerations and Professional Advice

Alex considers strategic moves to minimize CGT, such as spreading the gain across tax years or investing in renovations to increase the base cost. However, given the sale's straightforward nature, these strategies offer limited benefits in this scenario.

Realizing the complexity of CGT regulations, especially for non-UK residents, and the potential for Double Taxation Agreements (DTAs) to affect liabilities, Alex seeks professional advice. A tax consultant specializing in expat taxation helps Alex navigate the CGT payment process, ensuring compliance with UK tax laws and maximizing any available reliefs or exemptions.

Reporting and Payment

Following the sale, Alex must report the disposal and pay any due CGT within 60 days to avoid penalties. The tax consultant assists in preparing and filing the Non-Resident Capital Gains Tax (NRCGT) return, ensuring accurate reporting and timely payment.

Reflection and Learning

This case study illustrates the importance of understanding CGT implications for inherited property, especially for non-UK residents. Key takeaways for Alex include the significance of probate value in CGT calculations, the impact of residency status on tax liabilities, and the value of professional advice in navigating complex tax regulations.

Through careful planning, accurate calculation, and strategic advice, Alex successfully manages the CGT liabilities on the inherited property, ensuring compliance with UK tax laws while minimizing the tax burden. This hypothetical scenario underscores the intricate interplay between tax laws, personal circumstances, and strategic decision-making in managing CGT on inherited properties in the UK.

How Can an Inheritance Tax Accountant Help CGT on Inherited Property

How Can an Inheritance Tax Accountant Help CGT on Inherited Property

When you inherit property in the UK, navigating the complex landscape of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) and inheritance tax (IHT) becomes a crucial part of managing your new asset. An inheritance tax accountant specializes in these areas, providing invaluable advice and strategies to minimize tax liabilities and ensure compliance with UK tax laws. Here's how an inheritance tax accountant can assist with CGT on inherited property:

1. Determining the Probate Value and Its Impact on CGT

The foundation of calculating CGT on an inherited property is establishing its probate value, which is its market value at the time of the deceased's death. An inheritance tax accountant can help ascertain this value accurately, a critical step since it affects the calculation of any potential gain or loss when the property is eventually sold.

2. Understanding Exemptions and Reliefs

Several exemptions and reliefs can reduce CGT on the sale of an inherited property, such as Principal Private Residence Relief if you live in the property before selling it, or Lettings Relief if it was rented out. An inheritance tax accountant can provide insights into which exemptions and reliefs you're eligible for, potentially saving you a significant amount in taxes.

3. Utilizing Annual Exempt Amounts

Everyone in the UK has an annual CGT allowance, below which gains are not taxed. For the 2023/2024 tax year, this allowance is £12,300, but it's set to decrease to £6,000 in 2024 and further to £3,000 in 2025. An inheritance tax accountant can strategize your property sale to maximize the use of this allowance, perhaps by timing the sale or offsetting gains with any previous losses.

4. Reporting and Payment Strategies

The UK tax system requires that CGT on the sale of property be reported and paid within 30 days of the sale completion. An inheritance tax accountant can manage this process, ensuring that all necessary documentation is accurate and submitted on time, avoiding penalties and interest for late payment.

5. Estate Planning and Inheritance Tax Implications

An inheritance tax accountant can also provide estate planning advice to minimize both CGT and IHT liabilities. For example, if planning to leave the property to your children, certain trust arrangements might be beneficial. They can also guide on how to utilize the nil-rate band and residence nil-rate band effectively to reduce the overall IHT burden on the estate.

6. Capital Losses and Their Application

If selling the inherited property results in a loss, this loss can be carried forward to offset future gains. An inheritance tax accountant can record and apply these losses in the most advantageous way, ensuring that future capital gains are minimized.

7. Navigating Complex Situations

Inherited properties can sometimes come with complex situations, such as properties held in trust, owned jointly, or located overseas. Each scenario has unique CGT and IHT implications. An inheritance tax accountant has the expertise to navigate these complexities, offering tailored advice to ensure that you're not paying more tax than necessary.

8. Advice on Joint Ownership

If you inherit a property jointly with others, an inheritance tax accountant can advise on how CGT and IHT apply in your specific situation. This might include strategies for dividing the property or selling shares of the property to minimize tax implications.

9. Professional Representation

Should you disagree with a tax valuation or decision by HMRC regarding your inherited property, an inheritance tax accountant can act as your representative. They have the expertise to negotiate and communicate effectively with tax authorities on your behalf.

10. Ongoing Advice and Support

Finally, an inheritance tax accountant can provide ongoing advice as laws and tax rates change. They can keep you informed of new opportunities to minimize taxes and ensure that your decisions remain in line with the latest regulations.

In conclusion, an inheritance tax accountant plays a crucial role in managing CGT on inherited property in the UK. By leveraging their expertise, you can navigate the complexities of tax laws confidently, ensuring that you make informed decisions that minimize tax liabilities while complying with legal requirements. Their support transforms a potentially overwhelming process into a manageable task, ensuring peace of mind and financial efficiency for property inheritors.


Q1. What happens if I inherit a property with a mortgage in the UK?

A. If you inherit a property with a mortgage, you inherit the mortgage as well. You'll need to continue making payments or settle the mortgage. This doesn't directly affect CGT, but the mortgage value is not deducted from the property's value for CGT purposes.

Q2. Can I use losses from selling other assets to offset CGT on an inherited property?

A. Yes, losses from selling other chargeable assets can be used to offset gains, including those from an inherited property, potentially reducing your CGT liability.

Q3. Is there a difference in CGT for inherited properties if I'm not a UK resident?

A. Non-UK residents are also subject to CGT on UK property sales, including inherited properties. However, the calculation might consider double taxation agreements if you're tax-resident in another country.

Q4. How does CGT on inherited property affect trusts?

A. If an inherited property is held in a trust, CGT implications might differ. Trustees are typically responsible for the CGT, with rates and allowances that differ from those for individuals.

Q5. Can improvements made by the deceased reduce CGT on an inherited property?

A. Yes, substantial improvements made by the deceased can be added to the property's base cost, potentially reducing the gain and thus the CGT when the property is sold.

Q6. What is the deadline for reporting CGT on an inherited property sale?

A. For UK residents, CGT on the sale of a property must be reported and paid within 60 days of the sale's completion.

Q7. How is the probate value of an inherited property determined?

A. The probate value is usually determined by a professional valuation at the date of the deceased's death and is used as the base value for CGT calculations.

Q8. Can I claim CGT relief if I rent out an inherited property?

A. If you rent out an inherited property, you might be eligible for lettings relief, which can reduce the CGT due on the eventual sale, subject to specific conditions.

Q9. Are there any CGT exemptions for charities?

A. If you sell an inherited property and donate the proceeds or part of them to a charity, the donated amount might be exempt from CGT, depending on the circumstances.

Q10. How does the 36-month rule affect CGT on inherited property?

A. The final 36 months before you sell a property that was once your main home can qualify for relief, even if you weren't living there at the time, reducing the potential CGT.

Q11. What if I inherit a property jointly with someone else?

A. If you inherit a property jointly, any CGT liability is shared according to your ownership share. Each co-owner uses their CGT allowance and rates based on their circumstances.

Q12. Can I deduct estate administration costs from the CGT calculation?

A. Costs directly related to selling the property, such as estate agent and legal fees, can be deducted, but general estate administration costs cannot.

Q13. What documentation do I need for CGT calculations on an inherited property?

A. You should keep records of the probate valuation, sale details, and evidence of any costs incurred in improving or selling the property to accurately calculate CGT.

Q14. How do recent changes to CGT allowances impact inherited property?

A. The reduction of the CGT allowance affects the taxable gain on the sale of inherited property by lowering the amount of gain that is exempt from CGT.

Q15. Does converting an inherited property to my main residence affect CGT?

A. Yes, if you move into an inherited property and it becomes your main residence, you may be eligible for Principal Private Residence Relief, potentially reducing or eliminating CGT when you sell.

Q16. Are there specific CGT considerations for historic or listed properties?

A. While CGT calculations don't specifically consider a property's historic or listed status, such properties might have special circumstances affecting their value or improvements.

Q17. Can I gift an inherited property to a family member without CGT implications?

A. Gifting a property to a family member can trigger CGT on the gain based on the property's market value, though certain reliefs and exemptions may apply, such as the gift to a spouse.

Q18. What impact does selling an inherited property at a loss have on my taxes?

A. Selling at a loss can create a capital loss, which can be used to reduce capital gains on other assets in the same tax year or carried forward to future years.

Q19. Is it possible to defer CGT payment on an inherited property?

A. Generally, CGT is due when you dispose of an asset. However, there are certain circumstances where you can defer the payment of CGT, such as when the proceeds are reinvested in qualifying assets or businesses. This is subject to specific rules and conditions, so it's essential to consult a tax professional for advice tailored to your situation.

Q20. Can the CGT rate change after I inherit a property but before I sell it?

A. Yes, CGT rates can change due to adjustments in tax legislation. Any change in rates would apply to your sale, depending on the rate in effect at the time of disposal. It's crucial to stay updated on tax rate changes to understand their potential impact on your tax liability.



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