The Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT) has expressed its concern to HMRC and the Treasury about the changes to reporting requirements for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on residential properties and has called for the reporting requirements to be doubled from 30 days to 60 days.

Changes which came into effect in April 2020 require anyone with a reportable gain on UK residential property to report and pay any tax due using a Capital Gains Tax on UK property account within just 30 days of selling it.

Gains could previously be reported in a self-assessment tax return in the tax year after the property was sold.

For accountants to undertake this work on their client’s behalf, they need specific authorisation from their client, which must be gained using an agent services account and emailing authorisation links to clients for them to create a Government Gateway account.

Due to these changes, many AAT licensed accountants have expressed their concerns about both the incredibly tight timeframe for reporting any CGT liability and a widespread lack of awareness amongst those selling residential property. AAT members have also reported issues accessing the Government Gateway.

AAT head of public affairs and public policy Phil Hall said: “Since this change came into effect last year, AAT has repeatedly highlighted its members’ concerns, particularly AAT Licensed accountants, with the unreasonable nature of this new 30-day reporting requirement. Although we’re working with HMRC and other professional bodies to improve guidance in this area, we remain convinced that the most effective solution would be to double the reporting period from 30 to 60 days.”

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Abacus Accountancy and Payroll Services director Ann White said: “HMRC hasn’t given this enough thought. I can see that they want to get money into the coffers earlier, which isn’t necessarily a problem, but a 30-day deadline isn’t very long between completing on a property and assessing what the gain is. The majority of solicitors I’ve dealt with also didn’t know that this requirement is now in place, and neither do many of my clients – causing them to panic and in some cases have to pay a fine. It’s also a long-winded process for accountants to get authorisation for clients to do this.”

More information about changes to reporting requirements for CGT on residential properties is available here.

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