An Explanation of UK Capital Gains Tax

UK Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax on gains in capital you have made on an asset. If you sell, or sometimes even if you give away, an asset that has increased in value you may be liable to CGT on any gain (profit) you have made. This currently doesn’t apply when you sell personal belongings worth £6,000 or less, and, in most cases, it doesn’t apply to your main home.

The calculation for capital gains tax is as follows:

Sale price minus purchase price = capital gain

So when do you have to pay UK capital gains tax?

The following situations are ones that CGT might apply.

  • You have ceased to own an asset or part of an asset. This might apply even if you have given away or exchanged the asset.
  • If you have received money from an asset, for instance if you have received some sort of compensation for a damaged asset.

The following are circumstances where you normally wouldn’t have pay UK capital gains tax

  • You wouldn’t normally have to pay CGT on your own property. (However this is subject to certain conditions).
  • Your own Car
  • ISAs or PEPs
  • Lottery winnings and bettings.
  • As mentioned earlier personal belongings worth £6,000 or less when you sell them, aren’t subject to CGT.
  • UK Government gilts (bonds)
  • Money which forms part of your income for income tax purposes is also not subject to CGT

How CGT is worked out


UK capital gains tax is calculated each tax year. Tax years run from 6th April of one year until the 5th of April the next year. It is worked out against your total taxable gain after taking into account things such as:

  • Any allowable loses you have made on assets that are normally subject to capital gains tax.
  • After taking into consideration any costs and relief’s that defer or reduce the gain.
  • Your annual exempt (tax-free) amount also has to be taken into consideration – at the time of writing (2007) this is £9,200 for every individual. However this figure does change from time to time so it is best to double check it.

How do you pay CGT

Depending on how big your business is, you might have an accountant sort this side of things out for you. However, if you receive a self assessment tax return, all you need to do is fill in the form by following the guidance notes. There is also normally other ways listed on the form of contacting them and getting help if you are having problems filling in the form.

For more information on uk capital gains tax refer to www.direct.gov.uk where you can see clear examples of what you need to pay capital gains tax on and approximately how much it would be. However, keep in mind that, as with anything regarding tax, it is worth getting an accountant who knows about, and perhaps specialises in, property tax to make sure you are claiming all the relief you are entitled to when it comes to capital gains tax or any other tax. The last thing you want is to be paying too much tax after all your hard work and investment.

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are an investor and you buy, then do the property up, then remortgage and after that, then rent it out, you won’t have to worry about this tax as any money you make when you remortgage is tax free. This also goes for any time you want to release equity from your portfolio (otherwise known as drawing down). So you only have to worry about this tax when you are selling.

As the rules and regulations are open to change it is best to keep an eye on the current legislation regularly. the Direct gov website is perhaps the best website to do this or you could also refer to the Revenue and Custom website. Or alternatively use a website such as the Property Tax Portal

Don’t Get Caught Out Paying To Much or To Little Tax!

**Nothing on this website should be confused with financial or legal advice. If you need this, or any other type of advice, please seek the help of a competent professional. In addition, because real estate laws change all the time and differ from state to state, and even city to city in the same state, everything in these pages should be considered general marketing advice and ideas. Please see link to full Disclaimer at the bottom of this page.

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