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Possible Capital Gains Tax Hikes on the Horizon

Published by Prerana
Posted Date: July 10, 2024 , Modified Date: July 10, 2024

With a new chancellor in office, whispers of a potential increase in the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rates are growing louder. The Conservatives have left the door open for many changes and Chancellor Rachel Reeves is determined to take the UK economy in a positive direction. Thus, several crucial changes, including temporary reliefs, appear set to be taken up by this parliament.

Could CGT Rates Align with Income Tax?

The Labour Party had pledged not to raise tax rates on Income Tax, National Insurance Contributions (NICs), and VAT. However, they have not ruled out any changes to CGT, even though there are no plans announced. Currently, the CGT rates are lower than the Income Tax rates, which can be beneficial for property owners. So, the Chancellor may focus on aligning the CGT rates with Income Tax to reduce the financial burden of the government.

The rate of CGT you pay depends on the gains from residential property. However, if you pay the higher rate you have to pay 24% on gains from residential property, 28% on gains from carried interest, and 20% on gains from chargeable assets. The CGT is calculated by subtracting the Purchase Value from the Sale Value and multiplying the result by the tax rate.

(Sale Value - Purchase Value) x Tax Rate

Additionally, the CGT rate was cut by 2% temporarily by the Conservatives, potentially making CGT a target. However, a personal finance expert explained that even with no changes made to the Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rates due to frozen tax thresholds, you could still pay higher amounts of CGT. Also, the tax-free threshold is now £3,000, reduced from £12,300 in just two years. This reduction in the tax-free threshold has forced more people into the higher-rate tax bracket.

How Can You Manage CGT Liability?

Due to the Income Tax threshold freeze until April 2028 and the reduction in tax-free thresholds, more people will pay higher rates of Income Tax and CGT. However, you could use alternatives such as Individual Savings Accounts (ISA), civil partnerships, and more to reduce the rate of CGT you pay. Here is a detailed breakdown of some tips to reduce your CGT liability:

  • Timing Your Disposals – If you think you will earn less next year, consider waiting to sell assets to take advantage of a lower tax limit. If you expect to earn more, selling the assets this year might be better for you.
  • Maximising Allowances and Offsetting Loans – You can make the most of the £3,000 annual allowance by spreading out the sale of assets over several years. Also, reduce your CGT bill by offsetting any losses from the tax year against your gains. You can carry forward any losses to future years as long as you claim them in the year they occur.
  • Stocks and Shares ISAs – Moving your investments into an ISA can help you avoid paying CGT on those investments. This strategy is beneficial when you decide to sell and also each time you rebalance your portfolio.
  • Sharesave Schemes- You can transfer shares into an ISA within 90 days of maturity without paying Capital Gains Tax, as long as the total amount transferred is within the annual allowance of £20,000.
  • Civil Partnership - When you transfer assets to your spouse or civil partner, you will not have to pay Capital Gains Tax. However, if they sell the assets in the future, the gain will be calculated from the original purchase price.

Conclusion

As talks about potential increases in Capital Gains Tax (CGT) rates continue, it is important to keep yourself informed and take steps to manage your investments and tax responsibilities. Understanding the impact and using available strategies can help you handle these changes effectively and safeguard your financial interests. Whether it is timing your asset sales, making the most of allowances, or using tax-advantaged accounts, a well-planned approach can significantly reduce your CGT burden.

Prerana
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