Last updated: 13 November 2019
This tax trap includes US taxpayers with UK mortgages who have a mortgage contract about to expire (i.e. a 2 year fixed rate deal) and are considering transferring to a different mortgage.
Generally, the British pound is down against the dollar compared with the last decade, which means it costs less in dollars to relinquish a mortgage than it did when the pound was stronger. The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) unfortunately tax this dollar gain as income which can surprise a lot of people, in particular when the actual value of the property may have gone down in dollar terms as a result of the British pound devaluation. It is possible to harvest excess foreign tax credits in such a situation, so we would encourage you to seek advice and plan against any nasty surprises.
What should you do?
Consider the foreign exchange position before changing mortgage contracts.
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