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HMRC internal manual

Capital Gains Manual

Wasting assets: shotguns

TCGA92/S262 and TCGA92/S45

HMRC’s view of the treatment of shotguns was first set out in Tax Bulletin 45 published in February 2000.  This guidance focusses on the availability of the chattels exemption, TCGA92/S262, and the wasting asset exemption, TCGA92/S45(1), in respect of shotguns.

Chattels exemption

A shotgun is a chattel (tangible moveable property).  It’s common for items such as shotguns to be purchased and sold in pairs, generally matched according to their maker.  This does not, in our view, mean that a pair of guns should be treated as a single asset for the purposes of TCGA92.  The guns may well have been bought and sold together but they are still separate assets and any computation should apportion the figures for the disposal consideration and the cost between the two guns on a just and reasonable basis, TCGA92/S52(4).

Where the guns are sold to the same person, they may form a “set”, section 262(4).  HMRC takes the view that assets may form a set where:

  • they are essentially similar and complementary,


  • their value taken together is greater than their total individual value, see CG76632.

This will depend on the facts of the particular case but while there is unlikely to be any doubt about the first two requirements given the nature of such sales, the third is likely to turn on the type of guns involved and whether these could be said to form a natural pair.  The limited number of cases we have seen suggest that this is likely to be the case where shotguns are concerned, but there have been exceptions so the answer will turn on the facts of a particular disposal.

Wasting asset exemption

While we take the view that the matter is not free from doubt, we would generally accept the argument that all types of gun should be treated together under the general description of “machinery” so that they would have a predictable life of less than fifty years, TCGA92/S44(1)(c).

The exemption provided by section 45(1) will apply unless capital allowances have been or could have been claimed, see CG15400+.