Capital gains tax on main home while carer

I Mohave just sold my only home (uk). I have to pay capital gains tax on it because I had to move into a relatives house to care for them while I still owned my on home. During that period I rented out my own home as I need the money as I could not work while caring.
I have 30 days to pay this tax.
The accountant says I get no residence relief for the period I did not live in my own home and as such I have to pay a LOT of tax.
If I had been employed and had to live away and rent my home I would have been exempted from this tax .
I have read that there is something called ‘ deemed occupation’ but the accountant feels it does not apply to carers as it is not an employed job . Is that right? Surely this is unfair.
Also I read online that deemed occupation applies for up to ‘ three years for any reason’, so I am confused why the accountant feels I Don’t get this relief .
Has anybody else had a similar issue or maybe is an accountant who might comment ?
Thank you.

Bonny, I haven’t a clue.

You could try contacting the helpline:

You can email us at > > and we will respond to your enquiries within 10 working days, although it can often be sooner.

Our telephone helpline providing information is open from Monday to Friday between 9am and 6pm - 0808 808 7777

Or contacting the Citizen’s Advice Bureau.


I guess it’s because you rented out the property. So effectively you received an income from it. Maybe if it hadn’t been rented out and you received no income.

I’ve never heard about this aspect of caring before.
Really unfair.
Can CUK give us general advice on the forum about this?

I have PM’d Michael about your request, BB.


Thank you

Good morning Bonny

Thanks for posting about your situation in the Forum. I’ve forwarded your post to our helpline and will post their response in this topic in the coming days.

Wishing you well


Hello Bonny

As I mentioned this morning, below is some information on your tax situation from one of our helpline advisers which I hope you will find helpful.


Thank you for getting in touch with Carers UK. From what you say you have been away from your home for some time and have let the property during your absence. We are not tax specialists - let me say this first. From what I understand, you may be eligible for some Private Residence Relief which will be dependent on a number of factors of which the length of time that you have been away from the property if it has been let.
You get relief if you were away from it for:

  • any reason for periods adding up to 3 years

  • up to 4 years if you had to live away from home in the UK for work

  • any period if you were working outside the UK

You must have lived in the home before and afterwards, unless your work prevented you. Unfortunately, being a carer for relatives will not count as ‘work’ in this context. You may wish to discuss the matter more fully with HMRC. However, in general ‘unpaid carers’ looking after family and loved ones are not considered ‘in work’.

If you only own one home you get relief for the last 36 months before you sold your home if any of the following apply:

  • you’re disabled

  • you’re in long-term residential care

  • you sold the property before 6 April 2014

You get relief for the last 18 months if none of these apply, but you sold your home before 6 April 2020.

Deemed Occupation covers the period where as a property owner you are physically absent from the property, but for the purposes of Personal Private Residential (PPR) relief you are treated as living there. For this to apply you have to have been physically living in the property at some point.

The simplest period of ‘deemed occupation’ that would normally apply in any instance, is the final 18 months of ownership before the sale of the property. Assuming you have lived in the property at some point in the past, even if it is pre-March 1982, this period (last 18 months) will always be subject to PPR relief whether you are living in the property in those last 18 months or not. So, I assume you may be eligible for this, regardless, if you lived in the property in the past. You will need to double-check with your accountant and preferably HMRC to check whether you meet the conditions and this has been taken into account.

I hope this is somewhat helpful. This is not an area of specialism. Please check with a qualified lawyer for full advice.

Kind regards


It really is time this issue of whether or not what we do is “work” was sorted out once and for all.
If anyone else cares for our relatives on a paid basis that is definitely counted as “work”.
If we are doing the same tasks, in every respect, WHY is that not classed as “work”???

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