Baker, Longson v ChD

CH D 2000, 73 TC 415; [2001] STC 6

The taxpayer separated from his wife in 1990 and moved out of the matrimonial home, which was a farmhouse including stables and 18.68 acres (7.56 hectares) of land. The couple subsequently divorced, and L disposed of his beneficial interest in the property to his former wife. The Revenue issued a CGT assessment on the basis that only 2.61 of the 18.68 acres of land qualified for private residence relief within TCGA, s 222(3). The taxpayer appealed against the assessment, contending that all 18.68 acres had been 'required for the reasonable enjoyment of' the dwelling-house.

It was held by the Special Commissioner that 'it cannot be correct that the dwelling-house… requires an area of land amounting to more than 18 acres in order to ensure its reasonable enjoyment as a residence, having regard to its size and character.' While it may have been 'desirable or convenient' to have such an area, it was not required for the reasonable enjoyment of the dwelling-house and the taxpayer’s appeal was denied accordingly. This was upheld by the Chancery Division.