Home Tax How Much is Capital Gains Tax Allowances in the UK?

How Much is Capital Gains Tax Allowances in the UK?

Unlock the secrets of capital gains tax allowances in the UK! Understanding how capital gains tax works is crucial if you’re a savvy investor looking to make intelligent financial decisions. Don’t let this complex topic intimidate you – we’re here to break it down and reveal precisely how much you can save with capital gains tax allowances. So grab your calculators and get ready to dive into the world of taxes like never before!

What is Capital Gains Tax?

What is Capital Gains Tax?

Capital gains tax, often called CGT, is a tax levied on the profit made from selling certain assets. It applies to individuals, trustees, and even some companies. But what exactly counts as an asset? It can be anything from stocks and shares to property or even personal belongings worth more than £6,000.

When you sell your assets and make a profit (also known as a capital gain), you are required by law to pay tax on that gain. The amount of tax owed is calculated based on the difference between the asset’s sale price and its original purchase price (known as the base cost).

It’s important to note that not all assets are subject to capital gains tax. Certain exemptions apply, such as your primary residence or certain types of investments like ISAs or Premium Bonds.

How Does Capital Gains Tax Work?

Capital gains tax is a crucial aspect of the UK’s tax system, and understanding how it works can help individuals make informed financial decisions. Capital gains tax is a tax on the profit obtained from selling specific assets, like real estate or investments.

You’ve made a capital gain when you sell an asset for more than you paid for it. This gain is then subject to taxation. The amount of tax payable depends on various factors, including your income level and the type of asset sold.

The capital gains tax rates differ depending on whether you are a basic rate taxpayer or a higher or additional rate taxpayer. Currently, the rates stand at 10% for basic rate taxpayers and 20% for higher/other rate taxpayers.

To calculate your taxable gain accurately, you need to subtract any allowable deductions (such as costs associated with buying/selling the asset) from your total sale proceeds. The remaining amount is then subject to capital gains tax.

What Are the Capital Gains Tax Rates?

What Are the Capital Gains Tax Rates?

Capital gains tax rates in the UK depend on your income and the type of asset you are selling.

For individuals, the basic rate is 10% for assets like stocks and shares, while it’s 18% for residential property.

If you fall into a higher income bracket, you may be subject to higher rates of 20% or even 28%. Knowing which category you fall into to calculate your capital gains tax accurately is essential.

It’s worth noting that there are different rules for businesses and trusts. For example, companies pay corporation tax instead of capital gains tax when selling assets.

Furthermore, entrepreneurs’ relief can also reduce the rate to as low as 10% for qualifying business assets.

To determine how much capital gains tax you owe, subtract your annual exemption (also known as your allowance) from your overall gains. The remaining amount will be taxed at the applicable rate.

How Much is Capital Gains Tax Allowances?

Capital gains tax allowances are an important aspect of understanding how much tax you may have to pay on any profits made from the sale or disposal of certain assets. These allowances can help reduce your overall capital gains tax liability, allowing you to keep more of your hard-earned money.

So, how much is the capital gains tax allowance in the UK? For individuals, the current annual exemption stands at £12,300 (for the tax year 2023/24). This means that if your total taxable gains for the year fall below this threshold, you won’t have to pay any capital gains tax at all!

There are legal ways to plan ahead to avoid paying unnecessary capital gains tax altogether or minimize its impact on your finances when selling assets such as property or investments. Seeking professional advice from business accountants or financial advisors experienced in this area can help identify suitable strategies tailored to your circumstances.

While most individuals can take advantage of these generous allowances when reporting their taxable gains accurately and within legal limits, certain groups like non-residents and trustees have specific rules and restrictions surrounding their eligibility for claiming these exemptions.

Last but not least, some types of asset sales remain completely exempt from capital gains taxes regardless of profit amounts. For instance:

  • Gifts between spouses/civil partners
  • Transfers between close family members
  • Betting/gambling wins
  • Personal belongings valued under £6k per item (e.g., cars)
  • Government gilts and premium bonds

When Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax?

When Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax?

Understanding when you need to pay capital gains tax is crucial, as it can help you plan your finances effectively. The payment of this tax arises when you make a profit from selling or disposing of an asset that has increased in value.

The timing of the payment depends on various factors. First and foremost, it depends on whether you are a UK resident or non-resident for tax purposes. UK residents typically have to report and pay capital gains tax within 30 days after the sale or disposal of the asset.

Non-residents, however, have different rules depending on their circumstances. If they sell residential property in the UK, they should also report and pay any capital gains tax within 30 days.

Keeping track of these deadlines and ensuring compliance with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) regulations is important to avoid penalties or fines. Failing to meet these deadlines may result in interest charges being applied for any outstanding payments.


In wrapping up this discussion on capital gains tax allowances in the UK, it is clear that understanding how this tax works and what rates apply is crucial for taxpayers. The capital gains tax allowance is a valuable tool to offset any potential tax liability on profits made from selling assets.

It is important to note that this tax allowance is separate from the income tax allowance. While the income tax allowance allows individuals to earn a certain amount without paying taxes, the capital gains tax allowance applies explicitly to profits made from selling assets.

FAQ – How Much is Capital Gains Tax Allowances in the UK?

FAQ - How Much is Capital Gains Tax Allowances in the UK?

Is capital gains tax allowance separate from income tax allowance?

Is capital gains tax allowance separate from income tax allowance? This is a common question that many individuals have when it comes to understanding their tax obligations. The short answer is yes; capital gains tax allowance and income tax allowance are two separate allowances.

Income tax allowance refers to the money you can earn before paying income tax. In the UK, for the current tax year, the personal allowance for most people is £12,570. You don’t pay any income tax on your earnings up to this threshold.

On the other hand, capital gains tax allowance relates specifically to profits from selling or disposing of assets such as property or investments. For the 2023/2024 tax year, individuals in the UK have a capital gains annual exemption of £12,300. If your total taxable gains for the year do not exceed this amount, you will not be liable to pay any capital gains tax.

It’s important to note that while these allowances are separate, they can affect each other depending on your circumstances. Any gains above your capital gains annual exemption may impact your overall taxable income and could result in a higher income taxation rate.

How do I avoid capital gains tax allowance?

How do I avoid capital gains tax allowance? This is a common question when people want to minimize their tax liabilities. While it’s important to note that everyone’s financial situation is unique, and there are no foolproof ways to completely avoid capital gains tax, there are some strategies you can consider.

One strategy is called “bed and breakfasting.” This involves selling an asset before the end of the tax year and then repurchasing it shortly after. By doing so, you can reset the asset’s cost basis, potentially reducing your overall capital gains liability. However, it’s worth noting that this strategy has become less effective due to recent changes in legislation.

Another option is utilizing tax-efficient investment accounts such as ISAs (Individual Savings Accounts) or pensions. These accounts offer certain tax advantages, including potential exemptions from capital gains tax on investments.

Additionally, gifting assets to family members or transferring them into a trust can be another way to manage your capital gains tax liability. However, seeking professional advice when considering these options is crucial as they may have other implications, such as inheritance tax.

Does everyone get capital gains allowance?

Does everyone get a capital gains allowance? This question often arises when discussing the intricacies of taxation in the UK.

The capital gains tax (CGT) allowance is available to most individuals who profit from selling certain assets. However, it’s important to note that not everyone automatically qualifies for this allowance.

Let’s consider those who are exempt from paying CGT altogether. Certain assets, such as your main residence and personal belongings, are generally free from capital gains tax. So, if you sell your home or dispose of personal items like furniture or jewellery at a profit, you won’t usually be subject to CGT.

Who Cannot claim capital allowances?

While several individuals and businesses can benefit from capital allowances, it’s important to know that not everyone is eligible. Here are a few instances where individuals or entities cannot claim capital allowances.

  • Personal Use Assets: If you own an asset solely for personal use, such as your primary residence or car, you cannot claim capital allowances on these items. These assets are exempt from capital gains tax altogether.
  • Non-UK Residents: Non-UK residents generally do not qualify for capital allowances unless they have UK rental income or trade in the UK through a permanent establishment.
  • Exempt Activities: Some activities fall under specific exemptions and do not qualify for capital allowances. For example, profits derived from certain investments like government bonds or ISAs may be exempt.
  • Certain Businesses: There might be restrictions on claiming capital allowances depending on the nature of your business. For instance, some businesses leasing out land or buildings might face limitations when claiming certain types of allowances.

What assets are free from capital gains tax?

In the UK, several assets may be exempt from capital gains tax (CGT) or qualify for relief. Here are some key examples:

  • Primary residence: The sale of your main residence is usually exempt from CGT, thanks to the Principal Private Residence Relief.
  • Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs): Gains made on investments held within an ISA are typically exempt from CGT. This applies to both Cash ISAs and Stocks and Shares ISAs.
  • Qualifying government securities: Some government bonds and gilts are exempt from CGT.
  • Personal belongings: If certain conditions are met, personal possessions such as vehicles, furniture, and artworks can be exempt from CGT.
  • Cars: Private cars used solely for personal purposes are generally not subject to CGT.
  • Betting, lottery, or pool winnings: These are typically tax-free and not subject to CGT.
  • Gifts to charity: Any gains on those assets can be exempt from CGT when you donate assets to a qualifying charity.
  • Small Business Relief: Entrepreneurs’ Relief (ER) and Business Asset Disposal Relief (BADR) are special CGT reliefs available to qualifying individuals selling or disposing of all or part of their business.


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