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 Capital gains tax advice

Capital gains tax advice

Our tax advisers can help calculate any capital gains tax due and ensure that any sales or gifts are reported to HMRC correctly while ensuring efficient use of reliefs.


Help with reporting capital gains tax

We can help calculate any tax due and ensure that any sales or other disposals (such as gifts of assets for no consideration) are reported to HMRC. Reporting losses is as important as reporting gains. You may be required to report a sale of an asset even if a gain or loss does not arise , including scenarios involving capital gains tax on business assets and capital gains tax on residential property. We might also be able to help with capital gains tax planning in advance of any disposal of an asset to ensure the most efficient use of available reliefs and allowances, such as leveraging the annual tax free allowance and considering market value.

Capital Gains tax is a tax on profits when you sell an asset which has increased in value and the rate charged depends on your overall income, the gains level and the nature of the asset sold. We can help calculate the tax due and ensure that any sales are reported to HMRC after claiming all possible reliefs, including determining the long-term capital gains tax rate and addressing short term capital gain considerations. Everyone is entitled to an Annual Exemption from this tax and the allowance in 2023/24 £6,000. Even if your gain is within the allowance, you may still need to report it to HMRC , especially when considering total capital gains and taxable gains.

Some assets such as cars, your home, ISA investments, Premium Bonds and Lottery winnings are not chargeable to capital gains tax.

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Common questions about capital gains tax

What is capital gains tax?


Capital gains tax is a tax on profits when you sell an asset which has increased in value.

Everyone is entitled to an Annual Exemption from this tax and the allowance in 2023/24 is £6,000.

It’s the gain you make that’s taxed, not the amount of money you receive. For example, if you buy a painting for £10,000 and sell it later for £30,000, you’ve made a gain of £20,000, which is a subject to CGT.

The specifics of Capital Gains Tax in Scotland align with the broader UK framework, but it’s important to be aware of any nuances unique to Scotland. CGT is only due when your total gains exceed your tax-free allowance (also known as the annual exempt amount). Various assets are liable for CGT including personal possessions worth £6,000 or more, property that isn’t your main home, shares, and business assets. There are certain reliefs and allowances that can reduce the amount of CGT you owe, such as Private Residence Relief on your home and Entrepreneurs’ Relief on business assets. The rate at which CGT is charged depends on your overall income and the type of asset.

What is the capital gains tax rate in Scotland?


You pay a different rate of tax on gains from residential property than you do on other assets.

For higher or additional rate taxpayers, you will pay 28% on residential property gains and 20% on gains from other chargeable assets, a distinction important in calculating tax on total income.

For basic rate taxpayers the rate you pay depends on the size of your gain and your taxable income, with capital losses potentially affecting the total profit.

In Scotland, capital gains tax rates align with UK standards: 10% for the basic rate and 20% for the higher rate on most assets. It’s essential to note that your total income influences the applicable tax rate, with gains pushing you over the income tax basic rate band being taxed at the higher rate. Accurate understanding of these tax rates is crucial for effective financial planning in Scotland.

Can you be exempt from capital gains tax?


Gifts or sales to a spouse or civil partner do not generally attract capital gains tax, though they may have to pay tax on any gain if they later dispose of it.

Some assets such as cars, your home, ISA investments, Premium Bonds and Lottery winnings are not chargeable to capital gains tax.

You do not have to pay capital gains tax on assets you give away to charity, an aspect of tax liabilities for charitable donations.

How do capital gains tax rates differ from ordinary income tax rates?


In Scotland, capital gains tax and ordinary income tax are distinct in their application and rates. Capital gains tax is levied on the profit made from selling an asset that has increased in value. This tax is only applicable to the gain, not the entire amount received from the sale. It’s crucial to note that capital gains tax rates can differ from the rates applied to ordinary income, which includes wages, salaries, and other forms of compensation.

Ordinary income is subject to a progressive tax system, where the rate increases as the taxable income bracket rises. In contrast, capital gains tax rates are typically lower and do not necessarily escalate in tandem with higher income brackets. This difference is particularly relevant when considering investment strategies and long-term financial planning. Understanding the nuances between these tax types is key to effective tax management and compliance within the Scottish legal framework.

What is considered a capital asset for capital gains tax purposes?


In the context of the Scottish legal system, a capital asset, often referred to as chargeable assets, encompasses a wide range of properties and investments. Typically, these include real estate properties (excluding your main home), shares, business assets, and personal possessions valued over a certain threshold. It’s important to note that certain assets are exempt from capital gains tax, and specific rules may apply depending on the asset type. For accurate assessment and advice on whether an asset qualifies as a capital asset for capital gains tax purposes, it is advisable to consult a tax professional familiar with Scottish tax law.

What is the significance of the tax year in calculating capital gains?


In Scotland, the ‘tax year’ – from 6 April to 5 April the following year – is crucial for calculating capital gains tax. It determines the timing of asset disposal and the applicable tax rates. Each tax year offers an annual exempt amount, influencing when and how much capital gains tax is payable. Understanding tax years is key for accurate reporting and effective tax planning within the Scottish legal system.

What are long-term and short-term capital gains, and how are they taxed?


apital gains represent the profit made from the sale of an asset. In Scotland, these gains are categorised as either long-term or short-term, based on the duration of asset ownership.

  • Short term capital gain: This is realised when an asset is sold less than 12 months after acquisition. These gains typically come from assets like stocks or bonds.
  • Long term capital gains: If the asset is held for more than 12 months before the sale, any profit is considered a long-term capital gain. This often includes investments in real estate, stocks, or bonds held for a longer period.

How are they taxed?

In Scotland, the taxation of capital gains is governed by distinct rules, which hinge on the type of gain:

  1. Short Term Capital Gain Taxation: Short-term gains are taxed as regular income. The tax rate depends on the individual’s income tax band – basic, higher, or additional rate.
  2. Long Term Capital Gain Taxation: Long-term capital gains are taxed at a lower rate compared to short-term gains. The exact rate is influenced by the total taxable income and the asset type. It’s crucial to note that specific exemptions and reliefs may apply, potentially reducing the taxable amount.

Understanding the nuances of capital gains taxation is essential for effective financial planning and compliance with Scottish tax laws. For personalised advice tailored to your specific circumstances, consider consulting a tax professional knowledgeable in Scottish tax regulations.

How are rental income and other assets treated for capital gains tax?


Rental income

In Scotland, rental income is subject to Income Tax, not Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Landlords must declare this income annually through Self Assessment. However, when selling a rental property, CGT may apply to the profit, which is the difference between the purchase price and the selling price, minus allowable expenses.

Other assets

For other assets, CGT is applicable upon their disposal, which includes selling, gifting, or exchanging. This includes shares, business assets, and personal items worth over £6,000, excluding your car. The rate of CGT varies based on the total amount of your taxable income and gains.

Exemptions and reliefs

Certain reliefs may reduce CGT liability, such as Private Residence Relief for properties and Business Asset Disposal Relief for qualifying business assets. It’s crucial to seek professional advice to navigate these exemptions accurately.

Reporting and payment

CGT must be reported and paid through the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) Capital Gains Tax service. The deadlines and methods vary depending on the type of asset and the circumstances of the disposal.

For accurate assessment and compliance with Scottish tax laws, consulting with a tax professional is advisable.

What is an unrealised capital gain, and is it taxable?


Unrealised capital gains refer to the increase in value of an investment or asset that has not yet been sold. In contrast to realised gains, where the asset is sold and the profit is actualised, unrealised gains are essentially paper profits. In the Scottish context, these gains remain hypothetical until the asset is disposed of.

The critical question is: Are unrealised capital gains taxable? Under Scots law, unrealised capital gains are not subject to capital gains tax. This tax is only levied on realised, or actualised, gains – meaning it’s applied only when the asset is sold and the profit is realized. Therefore, holding onto an asset with increased value does not trigger a taxable event.

It’s important for investors to understand the distinction between unrealized and realized gains to effectively manage their tax liabilities. By recognizing that only the gains made upon the sale of an asset are taxable, individuals and entities can plan their investment strategies and sales timings more effectively, ensuring compliance with the legal framework governing taxable gains in Scotland.

How does the carried forward rule work for capital gains tax?


Under the Scottish legal framework, the carried forward rule plays a crucial role in managing capital gains tax liabilities. This rule permits taxpayers to carry forward any unused capital losses from previous tax years, offsetting them against capital gains in the current fiscal period.

When a taxpayer incurs a capital loss, and it exceeds the total capital gains of that year, this excess loss can be carried forward indefinitely. This provision allows for strategic financial planning, as the carried forward losses can be utilised to reduce capital gains tax in future profitable years.

It’s essential to maintain accurate records of all capital losses, as these must be reported and substantiated when applying the carried forward rule. This method is particularly beneficial for individuals and entities involved in investments with fluctuating returns, offering a measure of tax relief in years when gains are realised.

What are the implications of double taxation on capital gains?


In Scotland, double taxation on capital gains affects shareholders and international investors. Shareholders face double taxation when corporate profits are taxed and then taxed again as personal income on dividends. For international investments, assets disposed of in foreign countries can be subject to capital gains tax both abroad and in Scotland, although tax treaties may offer relief through credits or exemptions.

This phenomenon can influence investment decisions, potentially discouraging reinvestment and affecting financial planning. It’s advisable to consult with tax experts to navigate these complexities in the Scottish context.

What are the tax considerations for precious metals and other specific assets?


When investing in precious metals in Scotland, it’s essential to be aware of the capital gains tax (CGT) implications. Gold, silver, platinum, and other precious metals may incur CGT upon sale if the gains exceed the annual exempt amount. However, investment-grade metals often benefit from a CGT exemption. This distinction is key for tax efficiency.

Record keeping: Accurate documentation of purchase prices and sale values is crucial for determining potential CGT liabilities.

CGT rates: The applicable CGT rate depends on your income tax band, highlighting the importance of understanding how your overall income impacts your tax responsibilities.

Exemptions and reliefs: Stay informed about possible exemptions and reliefs that could apply to your precious metal investments, as these can significantly affect your tax liability.

It’s important to note that tax laws can change, and individual circumstances vary. Keeping abreast of these changes ensures compliance and maximises your investment’s tax efficiency.


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Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.

Speak to us today on 0330 159 5555

Get in touch


Get in touch

Call us for free on 0330 159 5555 or complete our online form below to submit your enquiry or arrange a call back.