Posted in: Capital Gains Tax
For those of you who have shares, you may wonder how HMRC calculate the capital gains on your shares when they are disposed.
There are special rules regarding capital gains on shares, as the following will illustrate.
Frances has purchased a number of shares in ABC Ltd, a quoted company, over a period of many years as follows:
In February 2013, Frances sells 4,000 shares for £28,000
Her capital gain is:
This is the problem, as we cannot tell which of the 4,000 shares Frances has sold. Was it the first 4,000 she purchased or the last 4,000 she purchased or something else?
HMRC apply matching rules to determine the order in which shares are deemed to have been sold. Note, these matching rules only apply for individuals, not companies that hold shares. Further, the rules only apply to shares of the same class in the same company.
There are 3 matching rules applied in order of priority:
The reason HMRC have matching rule 2 above is to prevent the practice of “bed and breakfasting”. This is where a taxpayer would sell off enough shares each tax year to realise a gain exactly equal to their capital gains tax annual allowance and then buy those shares back again the next day. This would have the effect of keeping the shareholders share portfolio intact while increasing the effective cost of the shares held, which would in turn reduce the capital gain when the shares were really disposed of.
If we return to Frances and her share disposal, we can see that she has no shares caught by matching rules 1 and 2 and all her shares fall into the Section 104 pool.
Her capital gain is therefore: