What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital gains tax (CGT) is tax applied to money you gain from the sale of something you own that has increased in value. The tax is only paid on the amount that has been gained, and not the amount of money you receive. For example, if you bought some shares for £5,000 and later sold them for £9,000, you are only taxed on the £4,000 you have gained. 

Items that are liable for capital gains tax include property that isn’t your main home, personal possessions worth more than £6,000 (not including your car), shares and investment funds. If you have a business and you were to sell it then this would also be liable for capital gains tax.

Whether you pay CGT or not depends on the use of the item you have bought, and whether you are considered to be trading that item or owning it as an investment. An example of this is buying a house and renting it out before selling it on for a profit a few years later, compared to buying a house and doing it up to improve its value. HMRC considers the former as an investment, meaning you need to pay CGT on the profit, and the latter as trade, meaning you pay income tax on the profit.

How can AK Tax Help?

If you have never needed to pay capital gains tax before, it can be a nasty surprise and reduce the income you expect to receive. At AK Tax we have a team of friendly experts who can walk you through CGT and offer advice tailored to your specific situation, helping you avoid the pitfalls that are hard to avoid if you don’t know what you are doing.

Our Capital gains tax experts in Kent can advise you on ways to reduce the amount of CGT you have to pay, for example by claiming tax deductions such as professional fees and enhancement expenditure. We will ensure you claim all reliefs relevant to your situation, such as entrepreneurs relief and principal private residence relief. There are other ways we can help, including considering the timing of a sale to spread it over more than one tax year, to maximise the amount of available exemptions and reliefs.

Our team will help you understand your options and make sure you aren’t paying more CGT than you need to. We can also assist you in completing the necessary paperwork and communicate with HMRC on your behalf, making CGT as easy and hassle-free as possible.

Capital Gains Tax FAQ

What assets are chargeable to capital gains tax?

Capital gains tax is applied to the profit of things you sell that have increased in value. This typically includes:

  • Property that isn’t your primary residence, for example second homes and buy-to-let properties
  • Inherited properties
  • Shares
  • Investment funds
  • The sale of a business
  • Valuables worth over £6,000 including art, antiques and jewellery
  • Assets transferred at below their market value

People who are married or in a civil partnership are free to transfer assets to each other without any CGT being charged. You also don’t usually have to pay it on gifts to charities, or winning from the lottery or betting.

What is the capital gains tax rate?

The amount of CGT you’re charged depends on your tax rate (basic rate, higher rate or additional rate) and the type of asset you sell, as property has a different rate than other possessions. If you are within the basic rate tax band you’ll pay 10% on your gains, apart from property which is taxed at 18%. For any amount above the basic tax rate you pay 18%, or 28% on property.

What is capital gains tax allowance?

There is an allowance applied before you have to pay CGT, the same as with income tax, which means there is an amount of profit you can make before any tax is payable. In the 2021-2022 tax year the allowance is £12,300. The allowance resets every year – usually by going up – which is worth bearing in mind when you’re considering the timing of selling a business, property or other assets.

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