Does HMRC check if I owned another property during the time I owned the flat I am now selling and have capital gains tax (CGT) to pay on? I got married after four years and moved in with my husband, and my mother-in-law lived in my flat, but the council tax was still in my name there. Can I claim the flat as my main residence when mother-in-law was there, as the council tax bill was still in my name and the flat was not rented out, as she stayed there rent-free?
Arthur Weller replies:
You can claim CGT principal private residence relief when selling your flat for the period when you actually lived there, but not for the period when you lived somewhere else. The fact that your mother-in-law lived there doesn't count (there used to be a dependant relative relief, but this is almost certainly not relevant to you, because the dependant relative had to be in the property in 1988).