2. Selling shares

You might have to pay Capital Gains Tax on profit from selling shares.

There are rules for working out the tax you have to pay on gains from shares. These rules are different for personally held shares and shares held as a business.

When you don’t have to pay Capital Gains Tax

You don’t have to pay Capital Gains Tax if you give away shares to your husband, wife or civil partner, so long as the following both apply:

  • you’re not giving away shares you plan to resell
  • you’ve lived together for part of the tax year in which give away the shares

You can claim Capital Gains Tax relief if you give away your shares to a charity.

You may still be able to apply for tax relief if you don’t fit into these categories. Read ‘Helpsheet 295’ to find out about this.

If the shares have lost some or all of their value during the time you’ve owned them, you might be able to make what’s known as a ‘Negligible Value Claim’. See ‘Helpsheet 286 - Negligible Value Claims’ to find out more.

You may have to pay a penalty if you have to pay Capital Gains Tax and don’t tell HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) by 5 October after the end of the tax year.

Shares received through your job

There are different rules on Capital Gains Tax if you get shares through your job. Read ‘Helpsheet 287’ to find out more about this.

You don’t pay Capital Gains Tax as an employee shareholder if the shares were valued up to £50,000 when you received them.

Investments in small companies

You may be able to apply for relief through the Enterprise Investment Scheme or Seed Enterprise Investment Scheme if you’ve invested in small unlisted companies.

Share in your own business

You may also be able to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief if you own at least 5% of the shares in a business for a year and you’re a director, partner or employee of the business.

You might be able to make a Negligible Value Claim - see helpsheet 286.

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