IS SELLING YOUR HOME TAXABLE?

Apr 8, 2021

Is selling your home taxable?, Or in other words, do you have to pay tax when selling your home?

Buying and selling your private or family home typically is not taxable. However some are looking to purchase a family home with the intention of reselling it in time, and a few earn their income this way – buying and selling.

If you have established a pattern of purchasing and then selling your “family home,” this could be considered as property speculation or dealing for tax purposes.

So, how do you know whether you are considered a property speculator, dealer or wheer you are an investor?

  • What was your intention when you bought the property?
  • What pattern have you established in terms of property transactions?
  • Are you (and if so, how) associated with a developer, builder or property dealer?
  • Will the Bright-line Test* apply?
  • Will you be affected by rezoning?

​How do you know if selling your home will be taxable?  Think carefully about the answers to these five questions.


QUESTIONS

Q. Ok, so I just have to hold onto a property for a really long time and then I’m not considered a dealer?
A. No.  The amount of time you hold the property is immaterial.  It’s your intention at the time of acquisition.If you bought a property with the intention of reselling it, then any capital gain that you make on the sale taxable.

Q. Right-o.  So, is there some sort of level?  That is, my first couple of properties are tax-free and then I pay tax after that?
A. Ahhh… no.  Again, it’s intention, patterns and associations – not numbers of properties sold.

Q. What period of Brightline Test applies to my house?
​A. The bright-line property rule looks at whether the property was acquired:

  • on or after 27 March 2021, and sold within the 10-year bright-line period
  • between 29 March 2018 and 26 March 2021, and sold within the 5-year bright-line period
  • between 1 October 2015 and 28 March 2018, and sold within the 2-year bright-line period.

Please note that the government has indicated that new builds will continue to be subject to a 5 year bright-line period. Before this can be legislated, what is considered a ‘new build’ is still to be consulted on. The Government intends for the legislation to be retrospective so that new builds acquired on or after 27 March 2021 will continue to be subject to a 5-year bright-line period. More info here

Q. What about sub-dividing? Is that taxable?
A. That’s a big subject. Contact us.

Q. Great.  It looks like I might have to pay tax then.  How do I figure that out?
A. Contact us.


* For more info see this link at Inland Revenue

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