Following a relationship of almost 20 years where we both lived in our own houses, my partner and I got married in February. However, we continue to live in our own properties and do not see this changing in the foreseeable future.
With regards to Capital Gains Tax (CGT), one expert has said that within three years we will have to nominate one of our properties for CGT. Expert No 2 says that as long as we are not living in the same house, neither of us is subject to CGT. We both own our own houses and have only our names on the deeds. Could you help clarify this? Maggie Fleming writes: I’m sorry to say that both your experts are wrong, although expert No 1 is almost right! A married couple can have only one principal private residence between them. But you have only two years, not three, from the date of marriage in which to make a joint election for the one qualifying for the relief.
The main consideration in choosing which property is the one likely to produce the greater gain on sale. Remember that the final three years of ownership of a house which has at any time been your only or main residence is always tax-free, so, if it were likely that one would be sold within three years of marriage, you should nominate the other. Maggie Fleming is a director of Isis Financial Planners and a member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation.