In Maurice and Shirley Bell v HMRC [2018] TC06575 taxpayers were unsuccessful claiming CGT roll over relief under s152 TCGA 1992 on the disposal of a farmhouse constructed on their farmland for their son. The building was not used only for the trade.

  • The couple owned a farm and they obtained planning permission and then built a house on land that was formerly used for sheep pens.
  • The property, Chapel Grange was sold and they claimed CGT Roll over relief  on the basis that this was the disposal of a arm worker’s cottage which was qualifying asset used by their son who worked on the farm.
  • HMRC disagreed and raised an assessment.

HMRC agreed farm land would have been a qualifying asset up until the point at which planning permission was granted. It argued that the grant of planning permission and construction of the property clearly changed the nature of the asset.

At the hearing it was argued that it was “essential” for the property to be constructed because it would be necessary to have good housing to attract a manager if circumstances changed in the future.

The FTT found that this was an assertion wholly unsupported by any evidence. The judge said:

“Essential” is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as “absolutely indispensable or necessary … fundamental … significant …”. That is very different to something which is desirable. Whilst it may well have been desirable, as HMRC concede, for Andrew and his growing family to be housed in larger premises, I do not accept that it was essential to construct Chapel Grange'.

The tribunal found that Chapel Grange was not a qualifying business asset for the purposes of section 152 TCGA 1992 and as such business asset roll-over relief was not due and the assessments should be upheld. 


Essential is not mentioned in the legislation, however the requirement is 'only for the trade' and clearly the house had other uses.

Useful guides

CGT Reliefs: disposal of a business or its assets
What relief can you claim and when? Includes relevant case summaries and background including cases on s152 roll over: when can you claim tax relief on your farmhouse or business buildings? 


Maurice and Shirley Bell v HMRC [2018] TC06575