ANGELA Rayner has said she is the victim of a “smear” amid ongoing questions about her tax affairs.

Speaking to the BBC, she said she has received professional advice that she owes no tax on the sale of her home.

It was previously reported that the deputy Labour leader may have owed capital gains tax on the 2015 sale of a property in Stockport.

She told Newsnight there had been “no wrongdoing” and “no unlawfulness” and that it was a “non-story manufactured to try and smear me".

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Claims about Rayner’s tax affairs first emerged in a biography by former Tory party treasurer Lord Ashcroft.

Specifically, it raised questions about whether a house she previously owned was her principal residence at the time, a distinction which could have had an impact on how much tax she owed when it was sold.

Rayner bought the former council house in Vicarage Road, Stockport for £79,000 in January 2007.

In September 2010, she married Mark Rayner, who owned a separate house nearby in Lowndes Lane.

She described the Vicarage Road home as her “principal house” but added that she did spend time at her husband’s home.

In March 2015, two months before becoming an MP, Rayner sold the Vicarage Road property for £127,500 – a gain of £48,500 and the couple separated in 2020.

Earlier this month, Greater Manchester Police said there was no evidence that any offence had been committed when Tory MP James Daly asked them to investigate if she had given false information.

Rayner told the BBC: “I’ve been very clear there’s no rules broken. They (the Conservatives) have tried to manufacture a police investigation.

“They (the police) said there’s no issues there. I got tax advice which says there was no capital gains tax. It’s a non-story manufactured to try and smear me.”

She continued: “I was a home care worker, you know, I didn’t have an accountant. I had, as most people would: you put your house on the market, you get a legal conveyancing solicitor and you get an estate agent.

“But since those allegations were put to me, I got expert tax advice to make sure that I hadn’t done anything wrong.”

Tax expert Dan Neidle has estimated Rayner could be liable for a Capital Gains Tax bill of £1500.

In a Sunday Times piece, he suggested Rayner could have avoided a tax bill if she met one of two conditions:

  • Jointly nominating with her then husband her Vicarage Road property as their main residence - HMRC rules state that married couples and civil partners “can only count one property as their main home at any one time”
  • Spending £15,000 or more on home improvements on the Vicarage Road home before selling

Rayner further told Newsnight: "No, I wasn't aware of the HMRC rules… when I sold that property.

"As I say, I sold it as most people would put it on the market, got the solicitor and the estate agents, etc. since those allegations were put to me, the tax laws on capital gains tax and principal private residency, etc. is very complex, including marriage.

"I got that advice that is categoric that I do not owe any capital gains tax on that."

The National:

Asked whether she had met one of the two conditions outlined by Neidle, Rayner (above) declined to answer those points in detail and insisted she owed no tax.

She continued: "I think what Dan was saying and he acknowledged that, look, she could owe nothing, actually, because the rules are complex and these are various different ways to which it's calculated.

"But I got back that expert advice because if I did owe any capital gains tax, I would have said and I would have paid it.

"But I don't owe any capital gains tax because of the circumstances. And I've gone through that with a tax expert, and they've given me that advice."