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This two part article is relevant to candidates sitting Paper F6 (UK) in either the June or December 2014 sittings, and is based on tax legislation as it applies to the tax year 2013-14 (Finance Act 2013).

Question 3 of Paper F6 (UK) focuses on chargeable gains in either a personal or a corporate context, and will be for 15 marks. A small element of chargeable gains may also be included in any of the other questions.

PERSONAL CHARGEABLE GAINS

Scope of capital gains tax (CGT)

CGT is charged when there is a chargeable disposal of a chargeable asset by a chargeable person.

A chargeable disposal includes part disposals and the gift of assets. However, the transfer of an asset upon death is an exempt disposal. A person who inherits an asset takes it over at its value at the time of death.

Example 1
On 19 May 1999 Jorge purchased an acre of land for £20,200. He died on 20 June 2013, and the land was inherited by his son, William. On that date the land was valued at £71,600.

  • The transfer of the land on Jorge’s death is an exempt disposal.
  • William will take over the land with a base cost of £71,600.


All forms of property are chargeable assets unless exempted. The most important exempt assets as far as Paper F6 (UK) is concerned are:

  • Certain chattels (see later)
  • Motor cars
  • UK Government securities (Gilts)


In determining whether or not an individual is chargeable to CGT it is necessary to consider their residence status.

Example 2
Explain when a person will be treated as resident in the UK for a particular tax year, and state how a person’s residence status establishes whether or not they are liable to CGT.

Subject to not meeting any of the automatic non–resident tests, the following people will be treated as resident:

  • A person who is in the UK for 183 days or more during a tax year.
  • A person whose only home is in the UK.
  • A person who carries out full time work in the UK.


A person can also be treated as resident if they have more UK ties than is permitted according to the number of days they are in the UK during a tax year.

A person is liable to CGT on the disposal of assets during any tax year in which they are resident in the UK.


Basic computation

For individuals the basic CGT computation is quite straightforward.

Example 3
Andy sold a factory on 15 February 2014 for £320,000. The factory was purchased on 24 January 1995 for £164,000, and was extended at a cost of £37,000 during March 2005. During May 2007 the roof of the factory was replaced at a cost of £24,000 following a fire.

Andy incurred legal fees of £3,600 in connection with the purchase of the factory, and legal fees of £5,500 in connection with the disposal.

Andy’s taxable gain for 2013-14 is as follows:

 ££ 
Disposal proceeds 320,000 
Cost164,000  
Enhancement expenditure37,000  
Incidental costs
(3,600 + 5,500)
9,100  
 _______(210,100) 
Chargeable gain 109,900 
Annual exempt amount (10,900) 
Taxable gain 99,000
 


  • The factory extension is enhancement expenditure as it has added to the value of the factory.
  • The replacement of the roof is not enhancement expenditure, being in the nature of a repair.
  • Note that the standardised term ‘chargeable gain’ refers to the gain before deducting the annual exempt amount, whilst the term ‘taxable gain’ refers to the gain after deducting the annual exempt amount.


Capital losses

Capital losses are set off against any chargeable gains arising in the same tax year, even if this results in the annual exempt amount being wasted. Any unrelieved capital losses are carried forward, but in future years they are only set off to the extent that the annual exempt amount is not wasted.

Example 4
For the tax year 2013-14 Nim has chargeable gains of £17,900. He has unused capital losses of £16,700 brought forward from the tax year 2012-13.

Nim’s taxable gains for 2013-14 are as follows:

 £ 
Chargeable gains17,900 
Capital losses brought forward(7,000) 
Chargeable gains10,900 
Annual exempt amount(10,900) 
Taxable gainNil 


  • The set off of the brought forward capital losses is restricted to £7,000 (17,900 – 10,900) so that chargeable gains are reduced to the amount of the annual exempt amount.
  • Nim therefore has capital losses carried forward of £9,700 (16,700 – 7,000).


Rates of capital gains tax

The rate of CGT is linked to the level of a person’s taxable income. Taxable gains are taxed at a lower rate of 18% where they fall within the basic rate tax band of £32,010, and at a higher rate of 28% where they exceed this threshold. Remember that the basic rate band is extended if a person pays personal pension contributions or makes a gift aid donation.

CGT is collected as part of the self-assessment system, and is due in one amount on 31 January following the tax year. Therefore a CGT liability for the tax year 2013-14 will be payable on 31 January 2015. Payments on account are not required in respect of CGT.

Example 5
For the tax year 2013-14 Adam has a salary of £39,440, and during the year he made net personal pension contributions of £4,400. On 15 August 2013 Adam sold an antique table and this resulted in a chargeable gain of £17,400.

For the tax year 2013-14 Bee has a trading profit of £59,440. On 20 August 2013 she sold an antique vase and this resulted in a chargeable gain of £18,900.

For the tax year 2013-14 Chester has a salary of £35,440. On 25 August 2013 he sold an antique clock and this resulted in a chargeable gain of £23,800.

Adam
Adam’s taxable income is £30,000 (39,440 less the personal allowance of 9,440). His basic rate tax band is extended to £37,510 (32,010 + 5,500 (4,400 x 100/80)), of which £7,510 (37,510 – 30,000) is unused.

Adam’s taxable gain of £6,500 (17,400 less the annual exempt amount of 10,900) is fully within the unused basic rate tax band, so his CGT liability for 2013-14 is therefore £1,170 (6,500 at 18%).

Bee
Bee’s taxable income is £50,000 (59,440 - 9,440), so all of her basic rate tax band has been used. The CGT liability for 2013-14 on her taxable gain of £8,000 (18,900 - 10,900) is therefore £2,240 (8,000 at 28%).

Chester
Chester’s taxable income is £26,000 (35,440 - 9,440), so £6,010 (32,010 – 26,000) of his basic rate tax band is unused. The CGT liability for 2013-14 on Chester’s taxable gain of £12,900 (23,800 - 10,900) is therefore calculated as follows:

 £ 
6,010 at 18%1,082 
6,890 at 28%1,929 
 3,011 


In each case, the CGT liability will be due on 31 January 2015.


Entrepreneurs’ relief

A reduced CGT rate of 10% applies if a disposal qualifies for entrepreneurs’ relief. This rate applies regardless of the level of a person’s taxable income. Entrepreneurs’ relief can be claimed when an individual disposes of a business or a part of a business as follows:

  • A disposal of the whole or part of a business run as a sole trader. Relief is only available in respect of chargeable gains arising from the disposal of assets in use for the purpose of the business. This will exclude chargeable gains arising from investments.
  • The disposal of shares in a trading company where an individual has at least a 5% shareholding in the company and is also an officer or an employee of the company. Provided the limited company is a trading company, there is no restriction to the amount of relief if it holds non-trading assets such as investments.


The relief covers the first £10 million of qualifying gains that a person makes during their lifetime. Gains in excess of the £10 million limit are taxed as normal at the 18% or 28% rates.

The qualifying conditions must be met for a period of one year prior to the date of disposal in order for entrepreneurs’ relief to be available.

Example 6
On 15 October 2013 the four shareholders of Alphabet Ltd, an unquoted trading company, all sold their shares in the company. Alphabet Ltd has a share capital of 100,000 £1 ordinary shares.

Aloi had been the managing director of Alphabet Ltd since the company’s incorporation on 1 January 2003. She had held 60,000 shares since 1 January 2003.

Bon had been the sales director of Alphabet Ltd since 1 February 2013, having not previously been an employee of the company. She had held 25,000 shares since 1 February 2013.

Cherry had never been an employee or a director of Alphabet Ltd. She had held 12,000 shares since 27 July 2006.

Dee had been an employee of Alphabet Ltd since 1 May 2004. She had held 3,000 shares since 20 June 2005.

  • Aloi’s disposal qualified for entrepreneurs’ relief because she was a director of Alphabet Ltd, had a shareholding of 60% (60,000/100,000 x 100), and these qualifying conditions were met for one year prior to the date of disposal.
  • Bon’s disposal did not qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief because she only acquired her shareholding and became a director on 1 February 2013. The qualifying conditions were therefore not met for one year prior to the date of disposal.
  • Cherry’s disposal did not qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief because she was not an officer or an employee of Alphabet Ltd.
  • Dee’s disposal did not qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief because her shareholding of 3% (3,000/100,000 x 100) was less than the minimum required holding of 5%.


Example 7

On 25 January 2014 Michael sold a 30% shareholding in Green Ltd, an unquoted trading company. The disposal resulted in a chargeable gain of £800,000. Michael had owned the shares since 1 March 2007, and was an employee of the company from that date until the date of disposal.

He has taxable income of £8,000 for the tax year 2013-14.

Michael’s CGT liability for 2013-14 is as follows:

 £ 
Chargeable gain800,000 
Annual exempt amount(10,900)
 
 789,100 
Capital gains tax: 789,100 at 10%78,910 


Although chargeable gains that qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief are always taxed at a rate of 10%, they must be taken into account when establishing which rate applies to other chargeable gains. Chargeable gains qualifying for entrepreneurs’ relief therefore reduce the amount of any unused basic rate tax band.

The annual exempt amount and any capital losses should be initially deducted from those chargeable gains that do not qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief. This approach will save CGT at either 18% or 28%, compared to just 10% if used against chargeable gains that do qualify for relief.

There are several ways of presenting computations involving such a mix of gains, but the simplest approach is to keep gains qualifying for entrepreneurs’ relief and other gains separate.

Example 8
On 30 September 2013 Mika sold a business that she had run as a sole trader since 1 January 2007. The disposal resulted in the following chargeable gains:

 £ 
Goodwill260,000 
Freehold office building370,000 
Freehold warehouse170,000 
 800,000 


The warehouse had never been used by Mika for business purposes.

Mika has taxable income of £4,000 for the tax year 2013-14. She has unused capital losses of £28,000 brought forward from the tax year 2012-13.

Mika’s CGT liability for 2013-14 is as follows:

  £
 
Gains qualifying for entrepreneurs’ relief 
Goodwill 260,000 
Freehold office building 370,000
 
  630,000 
Other gains   
Freehold warehouse          
 170,000 
Capital losses brought forward (28,000) 
  142,000
 
Annual exempt amount (10,900) 
  131,100 
Capital gains tax:630,000 at 10%
63,000
 
 131,100 at 28%
36,708 
Tax liability
 99,708 


  • The capital losses and the annual exempt amount are set against the chargeable gain on the sale of the freehold warehouse as this does not qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief.
  • £28,010 (32,010 – 4,000) of Mika’s basic rate tax band is unused, but this is set against the gains qualifying for entrepreneurs’ relief of £630,000 even though this has no effect on the 10% tax rate.


Married couples

Transfers between spouses do not give rise to any chargeable gain or capital loss. The same treatment applies to transfers between same-sex partners in a registered civil partnership.

Example 9
Bill and Cathy Dew are a married couple. They disposed of the following assets during the tax year 2013-14:

  • On 10 July 2013 Bill and Cathy sold a house for £380,000. The house had been purchased on 1 December 2010 for £290,000, and has never been occupied as their main residence.
  • On 5 August 2013 Bill transferred his entire shareholding of 20,000 £1 ordinary shares in Elf plc to Cathy. On that date the shares were valued at £64,000. Bill’s shareholding had been purchased on 21 September 2011 for £48,000.
  • On 7 October 2013 Cathy sold the 20,000 £1 ordinary shares in Elf plc that had been transferred to her from Bill. The sale proceeds were £70,000.


Bill and Cathy each have taxable income of £50,000 for the tax year 2013-14.

Jointly owned property

  • The chargeable gain on the house is £90,000 (380,000 – 290,000).
  • Bill and Cathy will each be assessed on £45,000 (90,000 x 50%) of the chargeable gain.

 

Bill Dew – CGT liability 2013–14 
 £ 
House45,000 
Annual exempt amount(10,900) 
 34,100 
Capital gains tax: 34,100 at 28%9,548 


  • The transfer of the 20,000 £1 ordinary shares in Elf plc to Cathy does not give rise to any chargeable gain or capital loss, because it is a transfer between spouses.
Cathy Dew – CGT liability 2013–14 
 ££ 
House 45,000 
    
Ordinary shares in Elf plc   
Disposal proceeds70,000  
 (48,000)  
  22,000 
  67,000 
Annual exempt amount (10,900) 
  56,100 
Capital gains tax:
56,100 at 28%
 15,708 


  • Bill’s original cost is used in calculating the chargeable gain on the disposal of the shares in Elf plc.


It may be the case that one spouse has not utilised their annual exempt amount and/or basic rate tax band for a particular tax year. It could therefore be beneficial to transfer an asset to that spouse before its disposal, or to put an asset into joint names prior to disposal.

Example 10
For the tax year 2013-14 Jane is a higher rate taxpayer, but her husband Claude does not have any taxable income. During March 2014 Jane is going to dispose of a house, and this will result in a chargeable gain of £120,000.

If 50% ownership of the house is transferred to Claude prior to its disposal, this will enable his annual exempt amount and basic rate tax band for 2013-14 to be utilised. The CGT saving for the couple will be £6,253 as follows:

  £ 
Annual exempt amount10,900 at 28%3,052 
Lower rate tax saving
32,010 at 10%
(28% – 18%)
3,201 
  6,253 


Part disposals

When just part of an asset is disposed of then the cost must be apportioned between the part disposed of and the part retained.

Example 11
On 16 February 2014 Joan sold three acres of land for £285,000. She had originally purchased four acres of land on 17 July 2012 for £220,000. The market value of the unsold acre of land as at 16 February 2014 was £90,000.

  • The cost relating to the three acres of land sold is £167,200 (220,000 x 285,000/375,000 (285,000 + 90,000)).
  • The chargeable gain on the land is therefore £117,800 (285,000 – 167,200).
  • The base cost of the remaining acre of land is £52,800 (220,000 – 167,200).


With part disposals, care must be taken with enhancement expenditure and incidental costs as these may relate to the whole asset or just to the part being disposed of.

Example 12
On 20 February 2014 Fergus sold an acre of land for £130,000. He had originally purchased four acres of land on 13 April 2002 for £210,000. During January 2014 Fergus spent £22,800 clearing and levelling all four acres of land. The market value of the unsold three acres of land as at 20 February 2014 was £350,000. Fergus incurred legal fees of £3,200 in connection with the disposal.

Fergus’ chargeable gain for 2013-14 is as follows:

 ££ 
Disposal proceeds 130,000 
Cost56,875  
Enhancement expenditure6,175  
Incidental costs3,200
  
 _______(66,250) 
  63,750 


  • The cost relating to the acre of land sold is £56,875 (210,000 x 130,000/480,000 (130,000 + 350,000)).
  • The cost of clearing and levelling the land is enhancement expenditure. The cost relating to the acre of land sold is £6,175 (22,800 x 130,000/480,000).
  • The incidental costs relate entirely to the acre of land sold, and so they are not apportioned.


Chattels

Special rules apply to chattels. A chattel is tangible moveable property.

Example 13
On 18 August 2013 Gloria sold an antique table for £5,600 and an antique clock for £7,200. The antique table had been purchased on 27 May 2012 for £3,200, and the antique clock had been purchased on 14 June 2012 for £3,700.

  • The antique table is exempt from CGT because the gross sale proceeds were less than £6,000.
  • The chargeable gain on the antique clock is restricted to £2,000 (1,200 (7,200 - 6,000) x 5/3) as this is less than the normal gain of £3,500 (7,200 - 3,700).


Where a chattel is sold at a loss and the sale proceeds are less than £6,000, then the amount of allowable capital loss will be restricted. If capital allowances have been claimed then no capital loss will be available at all.

Example 14
Giles sold the following assets during the tax year 2013-14:

  • On 3 February 2014 he sold an antique table for £4,700. The table had been purchased on 2 May 2003 for £10,200.
  • On 12 March 2014 he sold machinery for £22,600. The machinery had been purchased on 1 June 2010 for £34,000. Giles claimed capital allowances totalling £11,400 in respect of this machinery.


Table

  • The table has been sold for less than £6,000, so the proceeds are deemed to be £6,000 (rather than £4,700).
  • The allowable capital loss is therefore £4,200 (6,000 - 10,200).


Machinery

  • The cost of £34,000 is reduced by the capital allowances claimed of £11,400, giving an allowable cost of £22,600.
  • Since the proceeds are also £22,600, the disposal is on a no gain, no loss basis.


Wasting assets

A wasting asset is one which has a remaining useful life of 50 years or less. The cost of such an asset must be adjusted for the expected depreciation over the life of the asset.

Example 15
On 31 March 2014 Mung sold a copyright for £9,600. The copyright had been purchased on 1 April 2009 for £10,000 when it had an unexpired life of 20 years.

The chargeable gain on the copyright is as follows:

 £ 
Disposal proceeds9,600 
Cost (10,000 x 15/20)(7,500) 
 2,100 


  • The cost of £10,000 is depreciated based on an unexpired life of 20 years at the date of acquisition and an unexpired life of 15 years at the date of disposal.


Insurance proceeds

If an asset is lost or destroyed then the receipt of insurance proceeds is treated as a normal disposal. However, rollover relief is available if the insurance monies are used to purchase a replacement asset within a period of 12 months.

Example 16
On 20 October 2013 an antique table owned by Claude was destroyed in a fire. The table had been purchased on 23 November 2011 for £50,000. Claude received insurance proceeds of £74,000 on 6 December 2013 and on 18 December 2013 he paid £75,400 for a replacement table.

  • The insurance proceeds of £74,000 received by Claude have been fully reinvested in a replacement table.
  • There is therefore no disposal on the receipt of the insurance proceeds.
  • The gain of £24,000 (insurance proceeds of £74,000 less original cost of £50,000) is set against the cost of the replacement table, so its base cost is £51,400 (75,400 – 24,000).


If the insurance proceeds are not entirely reinvested then there will be an immediate chargeable gain.

Example 17
Continuing with example 16, assume that the replacement table only cost £71,500.

  • The insurance proceeds not reinvested of £2,500 (74,000 – 71,500) are taxed as a chargeable gain in 2013-14.
  • The balance of the gain of £21,500 (24,000 – 2,500) is set against the cost of the replacement table, so its base cost is £50,000 (71,500 – 21,500).


If an asset is damaged then the receipt of insurance proceeds is treated as a part disposal. However, if all the proceeds are used to restore the asset then a claim can be made to ignore the part disposal rules.

Example 18
On 1 October 2013 an antique carpet owned by Juliet was damaged by a flood. The carpet had been purchased on 17 November 2009 for £69,000. Juliet received insurance proceeds of £12,000 on 12 December 2013, and she spent a total of £13,400 during December 2013 restoring the carpet. Juliet has made a claim to ignore the part disposal rules.

  • The insurance proceeds of £12,000 received by Juliet have been fully applied in restoring the carpet.
  • There is therefore no disposal on the receipt of the insurance proceeds.
  • The revised base cost of the carpet is £70,400 (69,000 – 12,000 + 13,400).


Principal private residences

A gain on the disposal of a principal private residence is exempt where the owner has occupied the house throughout the whole period of ownership. The final 36 months of ownership are always treated as a period of ownership. The following periods of absence are also deemed to be periods of occupation:

  • Periods up to a total of three years for any reason.
  • Any periods where the owner is required to live abroad due to their employment.
  • Periods up to four years where the owner is required to live elsewhere in the UK due to their work.


These deemed periods of occupation must normally be preceded and followed by actual periods of occupation.

Example 19
On 30 September 2013 Hue sold a house for £381,900. The house had been purchased on 1 October 1993 for £141,900.

Hue occupied the house as her main residence from the date of purchase until 31 March 1997. The house was then unoccupied between 1 April 1997 and 31 December 2000 due to Hue being required by her employer to work elsewhere in the UK.

From 1 January 2001 until 31 December 2007 Hue again occupied the house as her main residence. The house was then unoccupied until it was sold on 30 September 2013.

The chargeable gain on the house is as follows:

 £ 
Disposal proceeds381,900 
Cost(141,900) 
 240,000 
Principal private residence exemption(207,000) 
 33,000 


  • The total period of ownership of the house is 240 months (207 + 33), of which 207 months qualify for exemption as follows:
 Exempt monthsChargeable months
1 October 1993 to
31 March 1997 (occupied)
42 
1 April 1997 to
31 December 2000
(working in UK)
45 
1 January 2001 to
31 December 2007
(occupied)
84 
1 January 2008 to
30 September 2010 (unoccupied)
 33
1 October 2010 to
30 September 2013
(final 36 months)
36 
 ______
 20733


  • The unoccupied period from 1 January 2008 to 30 September 2010 is not a period of deemed occupation as it was not followed by a period of actual occupation.
  • The exemption is therefore £207,000 (240,000 x 207/240).


Letting relief will extend the principal private residence exemption where a property is let out during a period that does not otherwise qualify for exemption.

Example 20
Continuing with example 19, assume that Hue let her house out during the periods that she did not occupy it.

The chargeable gain on the house will now be as follows:

 £ 
Disposal proceeds381,900 
Cost(141,900) 
 240,000 
Principal private residence exemption(207,000) 
Letting relief exemption(33,000) 
 _____Nil 


The letting relief exemption is the lower of:

  • £40,000
  • £207,000 (the amount of the gain exempt under the principal private residence rules)
  • £33,000 (the amount of the non-exempt gain attributable to the period of letting (240,000 x 33/240)) 


Where part of a house is used exclusively for business use then the principal private residence exemption will be restricted.

Example 21
On 30 September 2013 Mae sold a house for £186,000. The house had been purchased on 1 October 2003 for £122,000. Throughout the period of ownership the house was occupied by Mae as her main residence, but one of the house’s eight rooms was always used exclusively for business purposes by Mae.

The chargeable gain on the house is as follows:

 £ 
Disposal proceeds186,000 
Cost(122,000) 
 64,000 
Principal private residence exemption(56,000) 
 8,000 


  • The principal private residence exemption is restricted to £56,000 (64,000 x 7/8).


The second part of the article will cover shares, reliefs, and the way in which gains made by limited companies are taxed. It also contains some guidance for when you are answering a chargeable gains question in the exam, plus a test of your understanding.

Written by a member of the Paper F6 (UK) examining team

Last updated: 24 Apr 2015