BIM53251 - Measuring the profits (particular trades): commodity transactions
Case I Schedule D or Capital Gains?
Transactions in commodities may take the following forms
- Actual purchases and sales of a commodity.
- `Futures' contracts where there is frequently no intention of supplying or taking delivery of the commodity on maturity of the contract.
- A combination of (a) and (b) above.
Where a person enters directly into transactions involving the purchase and sale of a commodity, the profit will normally fall to be assessed under Case I of Schedule D as profits from `an adventure or concern in the nature of trade' (see CIR v Fraser  24TC498, and Wisdom v Chamberlain  45TC92).
Profits from transactions in commodity futures were, before 6 April 1985, normally assessable under Case I or Case VI of Schedule D (see Cooper v Stubbs  10TC29, and Townsend v Grundy  18TC140). The question of whether Case I or Case VI was appropriate was influenced by the number and scale of the transactions and the degree of organisation involved.
Profits arising on or after 6 April 1985 from transactions in commodity futures on a `recognised futures exchange' are, unless they fall within Case I of Schedule D, treated as chargeable gains (see CG56004). Accordingly, with effect from 6 April 1985, the Case VI option is no longer available for such transactions.