Non-residents will have to pay capital gains tax (CGT) on any gains made from residential property sales in the UK from April 2015, George Osborne announced today.
The Chancellor said that, though the UK "welcomes investment from all over the world", it was unfair that UK residents pay CGT when they sell a home that is not their primary residence, while non-residents did not.
Osborne was delivering his Autumn Statement in the House of Commons this morning.
Gavin Pluck, a director at Guardian Wealth Management, said the widely-anticipated move brought the UK in line with other nations', but warned it could have an adverse impact on investment.
"This move - no matter how popular with UK home seekers - could risk damaging the UK's reputation as an attractive destination for foreign investment and curb a much-needed income stream," he said.
"Despite grumbles among British taxpayers about high levels of tax, the UK tax system is considered very fair by foreign citizens because it does not have in place a taxation on global assets."
PwC real estate tax partner Rosalind Rowe said: "We are concerned about the government's intention to levy tax on future gains realised by non-UK resident individuals.
"The tax can be easily avoided - the owner just retains and never sells the property. It is unlikely to dampen the heat of the housing market and the costs of policing and collection will result in a potential net loss of revenue for the Exchequer. It also gives the wrong message - is Britain really open for business?"
The government will consult in early 2014 on how to introduce tax on non-residents and UK residential property.
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