Selling a house in the UK from Germany

125 posts in this topic

I want to sell my house in the UK.

 

I will need to have a solicitor sort out a few of the documents. Can I do all this via a solicitor in Germany, or do I have to return to the UK especially for this?

 

I dont know if anyone else has done something similar?

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I appointed my father to act on my behalf. So I presume that you can do the same with anyone you like. I made a fortune... best thing I ever did.

 

G

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I've just sold mine - contacted a solicitor in UK by telephone and then did all the other business by email. Only had to resort to mail once.

 

Good luck

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no need to go in person - why don't you just use the solicitor who did the purchase for you? they tend to keep your file so have most of the docs handy --> cheaper if it falls thru and they send you a bill for each letter / call / nanosecond of thinking about your file

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I thought about selling mine, explored the ins and outs and discovered that *any* profit you make on the sale will be treated as income by the German taxman and he will have his (large) cut.

 

I'd be delighted if someone told me this was not true, but I got advice from a top notch german accountant...

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I should be ok, I am on an English contract for the next year and a half.

 

But I read a UK think tank suggested that to stem the inreasing house prices, they recommend the government put 40-50% tax on any profits people make from selling their house...bastards!!! :angry:

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be real careful. if you are working here, more than a certain amount (I'd need to check) they will count you as tax resident. It's complicated as hell, very unfair but you need to be 100% sure! The last thing you want is a 'discussion' with the German taxman :ph34r: about where you should be taxed.

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I checked;

 

 

"Customary place of abode (“gewöhnlicher Aufenthalt�?)

Where an individual is physically present under circumstances indicating that this stay will not merely be of a temporary nature (assumed to be in Germany if individual stays here for a period of more than six months)"

I guess it depends if you are going back to the UK regularly, but if you add all the days up that you are physically here (over 12 months) it may present a problem. Best to be sure is all I'm saying.

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Hi all,

I wonder if anyone has been in this situation - we have decided to sell our house in the UK (various reasons) which means that we will be making a reasonable profit.

According to the UK tax rules, as we have lived in it in the previous 3 years prior to selling, it is not liable to Capital Gains Tax (40%!) as it was classed as our main and only private residence.

Today we discover that Germany does not recognise this English rule and therefore would (if we delcared the sale in our tax return) expect to take their slice (40%!!)

Our German tax adviser says that many English people in our situation do sell their UK property and don't declare it, but I was just wondering how high the risks of doing this are and has anyone been through a similar situation?

Is there any other way around this?

 

Thanks for any assistance!

 

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Do you have the legislation from the adviser? I have heard so many conflicting views on this and no one can give an answer pointing to the legislation.

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@Ratboy,

 

Do you really think that the german civil service sit around checking house sales in every country just in case someone who is living there has to pay 40% tax. 2nd how would they found out anyhow...since there is no ID number on your name - so Mary Smith could be 1000s of mary Smiths in the UK.

 

If you want to be sure not to fall foul of the rule - just leave the money in the UK bank a/c but if I were you I wouldn't worry.

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I don't have the specific legislation, but our adviser says it is a small sub-clause which only applies to the UK and not any of the other EU member states.

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@ Stanford

 

Part of the problem is that we have been renting the property out for the last 2 years and have been declaring the income to both the UK and German tax offices.

If we suddenly stop declaring this income we are worried that awkward questions may begin to be asked.

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You do not pay tax on any gains made on your house in the UK. If you are liable for tax in the UK then you will pay it there.

 

I was in the same position and paid no tax as there was non-due. Yes the authorities here were fully aware as we transferred all the cash over here to purchase our current house.

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If you could find out the sub clause I could look it up at work. My german colleague says she doubts it is taxable but needs to look it up. I will let you know if she gives me the details.

 

Re not declaring it, it would make me very nervous as I could lose my job over it if found out. Not to mention having to find the money to pay the tax (assuming proceeds reinvested in property here).

 

Personally I do not understand why only the UK should be taxed. It isn't equitable to tax someone on property they would not be taxed on in another European country especially since it had been a main residence.

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@Ratboy,

 

Mmmmmm.that means it is not your primary resident so would meaning that you are liable for the capital gains as it is an investment vehicle.

 

I suggest you kick out the tenants and say you live there again for about 3 weeks as you sell it...and then it is your primary residence! And if Canaryman is correct then you are okay from both Tax authorities.

 

Edited: mellelisa,

 

Captial Gains tax is a variation of income tax - a progressive tax to share the tax burden. Should you be resident in a country it is incumbent on the authorities to charge it on all income/capital gains. If they didn't then it would become a tax loop hole and loads of rich germans would buy property in the UK!!!

 

Granted from a UK perspective it seems hard, but from a german perspective it is being fair to their populace (which you become one when you are resident) and not favouring the rich!!!

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According to the UK tax rules, as we have lived in it in the previous 3 years prior to selling, it is not liable to Capital Gains Tax (40%!) as it was classed as our main and only private residence.

 

Part of the problem is that we have been renting the property out for the last 2 years.

either I've misunderstood something or something doesn't fit here

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