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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Land: `real' property

Whilst general law refers to the term ‘property’ this is a difficult term to define. For CGT purposes we are concerned with the disposal of `assets’. This is a term which covers all forms of tangible and intangible property, including interests in or rights over property.

In general law, `property’ is divided into two basic categories:

  • real property;
  • personal property.

`Real’ property is property to which a dispossessed owner has a right to have it returned to him. The court does not have discretion to merely order that compensation should be paid for its loss; the owner has a right of action to recover the property itself. This is called a ‘real action’ and it is from this that such property came to be termed ‘real property’ or ‘realty’. This term includes land and most interests in and rights over land.