What are capital gains? What is Capital Gains Tax (CGT)? What are the Capital Gains Tax rates, bands, reliefs and exemptions?

This is a freeview 'At a glance' guide to Capital Gains Tax, rates & allowances.

What is a capital gain?

A capital gain is created by selling an asset for more than you paid for it.

  • An asset for capital gains purposes is any item that has enduring value, typically land and property, shares and other investments. Assets may be tangible, or intangible.
  • A gain can also arise if you dispose of an asset in other ways, for example, if you gift an asset to a connected person, the market value can be deemed to be your sales proceeds, or alternatively, if your asset is destroyed and you receive an insurance payout.
  • A loss applies when the reverse of the above occurs: where you receive less for the disposal of the asset than you paid for it.
  • See CGT: Reporting when & how?

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

  • CGT is calculated and paid on any capital gains that you make unless the asset is exempt.
  • If you have a capital loss you can usually offset this against your gains of the same year or carry it forward if there are no same-year gains. In some circumstances, the offset of capital losses is restricted. See CGT: Connected persons & losses
  • See How to calculate CGT

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rates and bands

 

2024-25

2023-24

2020-23

2019-20

2018-19

2017-18

2016-17

2015-16

Standard rate (basic rate taxpayers) 10% 10%  10% 10%  10%  10% 10% 18%
Standard rate: Residential property 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18%  18%
Higher rate (higher and additional rate taxpayers)

20%

20%  20% 20% 20% 20% 20% 28%
Higher rate (higher and additional rate taxpayers): Residential property 24% 28% 28% 28% 28% 28% 28% 28%
Business Asset Disposal Relief
(Entrepreneurs' Relief)
 effective rate
10% 10% 10%  10% 10% 10% 10% 10%
Annual exemption                
Individual £3,000 £6,000 £12,300 £12,000 £11,700  £11,300  £11,100  £11,100 
Settlement(s): trustees £1,500 £3,000 £6,150 £6,000 £5,850 £5,650 £5,550 £5,550
Chattels exemption (proceeds per item or set) £6,000
Marginal relief 5/3 excess over £6,000
Business Asset Disposal Relief
(Entrepreneurs' Relief) lifetime allowance
 £1 million  £10 million (until 11 March 2020, then £1million)

Special cases

  • Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies and crypto-asset gains are subject to CGT if held as investments by individuals. See How are bitcoin, cryptocurrency or cryptocurrency assets taxed? 
  • Regular trading in cryptocurrency may be regarded as a trading activity and not as gambling, if the badges of trade are met, see Badges of trade: Are you trading or not.
  • Since April 2015, non-UK residents have to pay CGT on gains realised on UK residential property. The taxable gain is restricted to any growth from the April 2015 value. Alternatively, the seller can elect to pay on a time apportionment basis if doing so would be beneficial. For example: where Private Residence Relief (PRR) would be available. See Non-resident CGT: UK property. Don't forget the 60-day reporting requirement which was extended from 30 days from 27 October 2021.
  • Since April 2019, non-UK residents have paid CGT on gains realised on UK land and property (both commercial and residential).
  • Executors/estates pay CGT at the higher rates, with the rate applicable according to the type of gain.

Capital Gains Tax basic rules

  • A transfer between spouses or civil partners is generally CGT-free, made on a no gain/no loss basis.
  • A gift made between Connected persons is treated as being made at market value.
  • The Date of disposal needs to be determined to ensure the gain is declared in the correct tax year, particularly where proceeds are deferred or the disposal is conditional.
  • An interim distribution made during the Liquidation or striking-off process is taxed on the date the distribution is made and not the date that the company is finally wound up/struck off. It is part of a disposal of the shares. 
  • The indexation allowance no longer applies to individuals and was frozen for companies on 31 December 2017.
  • An Income Tax Trading loss may be offset against capital gains.
  • Capital gains may be deferred by reinvestment in some cases. See Which investment relief: IR, BADR, SEIS or EIS?.
  • Non-UK residents are not taxed on gains made on UK situs assets other than UK land and property, provided that they remain non-resident for a qualifying time period.
  • Finance Act 2019 introduced a requirement for UK residents to declare their gain and make a payment on account of Capital Gains Tax following the completion of a UK residential property disposal. From 27 October 2021, an Online property disposal return must be filed and the tax paid within 60 days of completion of the disposal transaction unless no tax is due. Before 27 October 2021, there was a 30-day reporting and payment period.

Capital Gains Tax reliefs: Disposal of business assets.

Historic rates

  2014-15 2013-14 2011-13 2010-11 2009-10 2008-09
Standard rate (basic rate taxpayers) 18% 18% 18% 18% 18% 18%
Higher rate (higher and additional rate taxpayers) 28% 28% 28% 28% 18% 18%
Business Asset Disposal relief (Entrepreneurs' Relief) effective rate 10% 10% 10% 10%  10% 10%
Annual exemption            
Individual £11,000 £10,900 £10,600 £10,100 £10,100   £9,600  
Settlement(s): trustees £5,500 £5,450 £5,300 £5,050 £5,050  £4,800
Chattels exemption (proceeds per item or set) £6,000
Marginal relief 5/3 excess over £6,000 
Business Asset Disposal Relief (Entrepreneurs' Relief) lifetime allowance  £10 million 

£2 million to
22 June 2010, then £5 million

£1 million £1 million