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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Individuals: losses: Losses and annual exempt amounts

Each year an individual can make gains up to a certain limit without being liable to Capital Gains Tax. That limit is the annual exempt amount. There is more information about the annual exempt amount at CG18000+.

You must compute the individual’s net chargeable gains before you deduct the annual exempt amount.

You must deduct TOTAL losses of the year from the gains. It is not possible for an individual to deduct only PART of the losses of the year and then cover the remaining gains by the annual exempt amount. The losses of the year may therefore restrict the amount of annual exemption available.


In 2015-16 Mr F has total gains of £12,400 and total losses of £7,500. The annual exempt amount is £11,100.

The net gain for 2015-16 is:  
Total gains £12,400
Total losses £7,500
Net gains £4,900


The net gains after deducting losses of the year are wholly covered by the annual exempt amount and so there is no charge to capital gains tax. The balance of annual exemption of £6,200 remains unused.