Investors hurry to sell ahead of possible hike in Capital Gains Tax

Investors hurry to sell ahead of possible hike in Capital Gains Tax




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A significant uplift in the number of second home-owners and long term investors in Central London putting their properties on the market – with a view to selling before the end of March – has been reported by a London property consultant. This is due to speculative fears that the Government will be making changes to Capital Gains Tax in this year’s Budget, Cluttons has said.  

The current flat rate of 18% was introduced in 2008, replacing the variable rate linked to income tax rates and taper relief. However, the tax was not mentioned in the April 2009 Budget or in December’s pre-Budget report, despite the fact that changes were announced on most other taxes.

 

There is now speculation that as a result an alteration in the tax is likely to be announced on March 16th.

 

City workers have already seen their spending power greatly reduced as a result of other announced tax hikes. With effect from April, anyone earning more than £100,000 will see their personal tax allowances reduced, and those with an income of more than £150,000 will be taxed at a top rate of 50 per cent.

 

In addition, individual bonuses of more than £25,000 paid to bank workers before April are subject to a 50 per cent levy paid by the bank which will affect the amount employees receive. These bonuses are also liable to income tax from the employee.

 

James Hyman, partner for residential sales at property consultant Cluttons, has said: “The budget will be more important for the property market than the election. Many are concerned about a possible rise in CGT – particularly investors and those with second homes in the form of city pieds-a-terre who are looking to sell. While stock in the Capital remains historically low, we have noticed a trend that the properties that are coming to the market are from investors wary of a possible capital gains tax hike and cashing in on the current high prices being achieved.

 

“The previously announced changes to income tax bands and banks bonuses will already have severe repercussions for the Central London property market as liquidity is greatly reduced. A hike in CGT on top of this could have a serious impact on property values.”

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