Capital Gains Tax – plan ahead


What is Capital Gains Tax?


It is commonly referred to as CGT by the experts and in simple terms it is a tax one has to pay upondisposal of an asset which has increased in value during our ownership. An asset can be anything for examplea second home, investments such as stocks and shares, antiques, precious stones and metals, even if we decided to give away the asset there may be a tax to pay. There are several possible claims and exemption to consider and may be available.


Where the asset is a gift it is advisable to consult a professional accountant or a tax specialist in the field as the rules and regulations governing this area are highly complex but well worththe investigation as it will save the beneficiary a substantial Capital Gains Taxliability.Whilst the good news at death is, no CGT, one needs to bear in mind that any assets given away upon death or within seven years of death may be caught by inheritance tax liability. As mentioned before Capital gains tax can be complex and with several implications to consider, especially with high value assets, therefore seeking professional advice is a must.


It is not all bad as you have to make a substantial profit before you are liable to capital gains tax on the sale of your asset.  There are also allowances and reliefs that can be claimed against your tax liability. Therefore calculating your Capital Gains Tax can be a complicated process. It is also dependant on the allowance and rates bands that are set by the government.  These rate bands can vary according the economic policy each government has adopted.


One can make simple changes to ensure your capital gains tax liability is kept to a minimum each year. Firstly knowing what the individual capital gains tax allowance for each year can be useful and a good starting point for planning purpose.  The capital gains tax allowance for each person for the year 2016-2017is £11,100 and the rate is 10% - 20% but this depends on the Income Tax bracket you are in. Unfortunately this does not apply to a second homes and buy to let market, the rates on a second home remain between 18% to 28%.  One can plan when to sell the asset without incurring a high capital gains tax, useful if you are not in the habit of buying and selling high value items. Secondly it is be to keep all the documents i.e receipts relating to the purchase of an asset that might be subject to Capital Gains Tax.


With such a complex Capital Gains Tax regime it is advisable to seek advance planning with the aim to mitigate the tax liability.  The cost of such timely advice would be more than compensated, by several multiples, in the form of tax savings achieved, given the right circumstances.