In this section:
If you sell, give away, exchange or otherwise dispose of shares, tax reliefs can reduce your Capital Gains Tax bill. Your shares must meet certain conditions to qualify for these reliefs. You will receive some reliefs automatically - you can claim others in writing.
On this page:
If you claim Gift Hold-Over Relief and full relief is due, you won't have to pay Capital Gains Tax when you give away the shares. Instead the whole of the gain is postponed or 'held over' until the person you give the shares to finally sells or disposes of them. You 'dispose of' an asset when you cease to own it.
The held-over gain is worked out using the 'market value' of the shares on the day you no longer own them. Market value is the price that your shares might reasonably be expected to get if you sold them in the open market.
If you give away business assets you may be able to claim Gift Hold-Over Relief. Shares you own personally may count as business assets. To do so they must be shares in a trading company or the holding company of a trading group and either of the following must apply:
Giving things away includes both:
If you sell shares for more than they cost, but less than their value when sold, you may claim relief for part of the gain.
You must claim Gift Hold-Over Relief jointly with the person you gave the shares to. The exception is when you give shares to the trustees of a settlement - then you can make an individual claim.
If you want to make a claim you should fill in the form in Helpsheet
295 - Relief for gifts and similar transactions.
Download the latest helpsheet on relief for gifts and similar transactions - Helpsheet 295 (PDF 128K)
The Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) offers tax incentives if you invest in shares in smaller, unlisted companies. The scheme provides the following Capital Gains Tax reliefs:
Income Tax relief is also available if you invest in shares through EIS.
This relief may allow you to delay paying Capital Gains Tax on a gain if you invest your gain in EIS shares. You can receive relief in respect of gains equal to the amount you invest.
To receive this relief you must invest in EIS shares between 1 year before and 3 years after selling or disposing of your original assets.
You won't have to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell or dispose of shares if all the following conditions apply:
The Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme (SEIS) offers Income Tax relief at a higher rate than the Enterprise Investment Scheme. It applies to new shares in small early-stage companies bought on or after 6 April 2012.
For 2012-13 only, if you dispose of an asset and reinvest all or part of the gain in shares which qualify for SEIS income tax relief, the amount you reinvest is exempt from Capital Gains Tax. This applies to investments up to £100,000.
For gains in 2013-14, when those gains are re-invested during 2013-14 or 2014-15, half the reinvested gain up to £100,000 is exempt from Capital Gains Tax.
If you're an employee and your employer operates an approved Share Incentive Plan you may be able to claim roll-over relief if you do both of the following:
Claiming roll-over relief means you won't have to pay Capital Gains Tax until you sell or dispose of the new assets you have bought.
You can find out more about this relief and how to claim it in Helpsheet 287. Look in the section ‘Relief on transfers of shares to an approved share incentive plan’.
You may be able to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief if you sell shares in a trading company and both of the following apply throughout the year ending on the date you sell the shares:
This also applies if you sell shares in the holding company of a trading group.
There’s a maximum lifetime limit on the amount of Entrepreneurs’ Relief you can claim on qualifying gains.
Lifetime limit for Entrepreneurs' Relief
From 6 April 2010
the first £2 million of gains made
From 23 June 2010
the first £5 million of gains made
From 6 April 2011
the first £10 million of gains made
You can make claims for Entrepreneurs' Relief on more than one occasion. The total qualifying gains in all your claims must not exceed the lifetime limit.
For 2013-14 all qualifying gains up to the maximum lifetime limit are taxable at 10%.
To reduce your Income Tax, you can deduct a loss you make when you dispose of unlisted shares you have subscribed for in certain companies. You can set the loss against your taxable income for:
You can find out more about this relief in the section 'claim to set loss against income' in Helpsheet 286.