In recent years, property investors and developers have become much more international in their outlook. Property has effectively become part of the global marketplace. However, the tax and legal systems that apply to property transactions differ with every jurisdiction, and players in this market need to understand the local implications of their proposed transactions. Otherwise, what looks like a great opportunity on a pre-tax basis may turn out to be a post-tax disaster.
This guide has been prepared by the Real Estate teams of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) and PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal LLP (PwC Legal), to provide an introduction to the UK tax and legal regimes that apply to real estate investors. After a general overview for UK and overseas investors, the guide covers the direct tax aspects of disposals and developments, VAT, transfer duties and other real estate taxes. A legal summary and glossary of legal terms are included at the end of the guide and reference is also made from time to time to relevant legal issues throughout the guide.
The UK is divided for the purpose of pure real estate law, as opposed to tax law, into a number of jurisdictions, the most important being England and Wales together (the largest), Scotland and Northern Ireland. Although the legal systems of these jurisdictions have much in common, they do have substantial differences in the formalities required for the transfer of real estate and some aspects of their substantive law. It is therefore important when dealing with real estate assets in the UK to ensure that legal assistance is provided by someone qualified to advise in the relevant jurisdiction. The remainder of this guide, insofar as it comments on any legal aspects of real estate investment, is concerned with the position specifically in England and Wales, although many of the comments will also apply to the other jurisdictions.
Source : PWC