For large home owners it’s heads I win tails you lose

DIRECTOR, DOUGLAS AND GORDON

Q There was a lot to read in the autumn statement. I live in a big house and need to know if I have anything to worry about.

A To find out if you are going to be liable for a new levy, you will have to look at your property ownership carefully. If you’ve been living in a house that is owned by your family trust or another entity, you’re likely to have two choices. You could carry on living in it but pay a new annual levy from April 2013, which will range from £15,000 to over £100,000, depending on the value of your home. From the same date you’ll have to pay capital gains tax, 28 per cent currently, on any future gain. That could be a large amount of money payable when the house is sold in the future.

If you decide you don’t want to do that and prefer to put the house in your own name, you suddenly fall foul of inheritance tax – and again, that could be substantial.

The awful fact is, if you want to avoid losing a lot of money from the new regime, you’d better make sure you don’t die in your house.