Tax when you buy shares
When you buy shares, you usually pay a tax or duty of 0.5% on the transaction.
If you buy:
- shares electronically, you’ll pay Stamp Duty Reserve Tax (SDRT)
- shares using a stock transfer form, you’ll pay Stamp Duty if the transaction is over £1,000
You’ll have to pay tax at 1.5% if you transfer shares into some ‘depositary receipt schemes’ or ‘clearance services’.
You pay tax on the price you pay for the shares, even if their actual market value is much higher.
Transactions you pay tax on
You pay tax when you buy:
- existing shares in a company incorporated in the UK
- an option to buy shares
- an interest in shares, for example an interest in the money from selling them
- shares in a foreign company that has a share register in the UK
- rights arising from shares, for example rights you have when new shares are issued
When you do not pay tax
You do not have to pay tax if you:
- are given shares for nothing
- subscribe to a new issue of shares in a company
- buy shares in an ‘open ended investment company’ (OEIC) from the fund manager
- buy units in a unit trust from the fund manager
You do not normally have to pay Stamp Duty or SDRT if you buy foreign shares outside the UK. But you may have to pay other taxes.
When you sell the shares
You may need to pay Capital Gains Tax when you sell your shares.
Help and advice
Contact Stamp Duty share enquiries for general information about Stamp Duty on shares.
Contact Stamp Duty Reserve Tax enquiries if you have questions about Stamp Duty on electronic paperless share transactions.
You can also get professional help (for example, from a tax adviser) with your tax.