The 2007 Pre-Budget report issued in October 2007 announced major changes to the way in which Capital Gains Tax will be calculated for disposals after 5th April 2008.
Among the most important changes related to CGT we can mention:
•removal of the link to income tax rates and bands, meaning that various rules providing for the interaction of income tax and CGT rules are no longer required.
•introduction of a single rate of CGT of 18%, replacing the current rules that charge CGT at income tax rates as though the gains were additional income. The flat 18% rate applies irrespective of the type of asset disposed of and the period for which it has been held by the taxpayer.There is one important exception for certain types of business gains that may attract the new Entrepreneurs’ relief. This relief is based on taxing the first £1 million of the gains at 10 %, but even this is achieved by reducing the amount of the relivable gain (by 4/9ths), so that the resultant chargeable gain can still be taxed at 18%!
•abolition of taper relief which normally has the effect of reducing the effective rate at which CGT is paid. It operates by reducing the amount of a gain which is charged to CGT, the amount of the reduction being determined by whether the disposed asset on whose disposal the gain was a “business” or a “non-business” asset, and the length of time that the asset had been owned before the disposal. and
•abolition of indexation allowance for non-corporate tax payers (currently frozen at April 1998) that normally compensates for the effect of inflation by reference to increases in the retail prices index;
•The abolition of the kink test for CGT purposes which means that in future the ”gains accruing on all disposals of assets owned at 31 March 1982 will be based on their market value at that date, so effectively “rebasing” all allowable expenditure to 31 March 1982”(HMRC).
• great simplification of the computation of chargeable gains due to the abolition of indexation allowance and taper relief.
As a large number of entrepreneurs and business owners aim to dispose of their businesses/companies for substantially more than £1 million, they are the biggest losers of the CGT reforms since their CGT rates will generally be much higher than 10%. (Before the 6th April 2008 CGT rate was often below 10% due to the benefit of indexation relief.)
Taxfile‘s tax accountants in Exeter and South London can help you make the most of every opportunity to minimize your tax liability, making sure you are paying the right amount of tax and all this for at very reasonable rates.