Before you start the game of property investment, be aware that the Inland Revenue is always interested in the profit you make by selling your properties.
•Determination of Principal Private Residence
It is not necessary to have lived in it as the only or main residence for all the period of ownership, but it must have been occupied for at least part of the period of ownership as your only or main residence.
HM Revenue and Customs state that to qualify, “residence is one of quality rather than the length of occupation which determines whether a dwelling-house is its owner’s residence”. A dwelling house must have become its owners home at some point during ownership even though no minimum qualifying period of occupation is required to qualify for the relief.
•Nomination of Principal Private Residence
The nomination is made by sending a formal election to your tax office within two years of purchasing the second home. Once made, the nomination can be changed, and be backdated by up to two years, and can even be done after you have sold one of the two homes, which can lead to some useful tax planning. If you acquire a second home and do not make a nomination within the two year time limit, your main residence will be decided by the Revenue as a question of fact, which could mean you miss out on some valuable opportunities to claim relief.
Clearly, by careful planning with the PPR election, significant tax savings can be made, wherever there are two homes, nomination can be made to ensure that both are classed as qualifying main residences at some point in order to shelter the last three years from tax on both properties. Ordinarily, the property that is expected to realise the largest gain on sale will be the property that retains the nomination for the largest duration.
At Taxfile in Tulse Hill, South London you can pop in to see one of their tax advisers and for a reasonable fee they will recommend the best solution in order to minimize your tax liability.