Once you have moved abroad your tax status in relation to the UK changes to ‘non-resident’, and you become subject to different tax rules.
Importantly, when a non- resident person sells a home in the UK, that disposal must be reported to HMRC within 30 days of completion of the deal. This deadline comes as a surprise to many conveyancing solicitors as they concentrate on reporting the property purchase, as the purchaser has to pay Stamp Duty Land Tax (or LBTT in Scotland) within 30 days.
Since 6 April 2015 a sale of residential property by a non- resident vendor must also be reported online, in order to pay the Non-Resident Capital Gains Tax (NRCGT) charge within 30 days of the deal. Even if there is no tax to pay because the taxable gain is covered by allowances, the NRCGT return must still be submitted within 30 days of the completion date.
Taxpayers who are already registered with HMRC can defer payment of the NRCGT charge by ticking a box on the return.
An automatic £100 penalty applies if the NRCGT return is even one day late. When the return is six months late, a further £300 penalty is due, with another £300 if the return is twelve months late.
All late filing penalties can be appealed and may be cancelled if the taxpayer has a reasonable excuse, but ignorance of the law is not a reasonable excuse.