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Dates for PRR - S223ZA TCGA1992

Date of contract or date of completion?

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Hi all,

I have a client who exchanged on a plot of land on 15 December 2020. Completion was just over a month later on 25 January 2021.

He then got planning permission to build his home on the land.

Work started early 2022 and is scheduled for completion on 13 January 2023.

S223ZA TCGA1992 states that a delay in taking up residence of upto 24 months is allowed, so long as completion, etc. of the works is also completed within that period. 

My question is when does the clock start ticking for the purposes of the 24 months? S223ZA just states "period of ownership", however does that period of ownership start from exchange or completion? I am reading from Higgins v HMRC (2019) that this would be from completion (i.e. 25 Jan 2021) - in which case he would just sneak inside this (assuming the works are completed on time). But if it is from the date of exchange then he might have a problem.

Thanks.

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Intercity
By Mr Hankey
18th May 2022 14:46

I'm not certain but if S223ZA just states "period of ownership" then I'd vote for the clock starting on 25 January 2021.

Exchange is committing to buy something on a date in the future, but you don't actually own anything on the exchange date, you own it on the completion date.

When searching the land registry for my own house for example, the date I bought it shows as the completion date, not the exchange date.

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Replying to Mr Hankey:
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By Software Seeker
20th May 2022 10:05

Many thanks Mr Hankey.

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