The Chancellor today announced plans to make capital gains tax (CGT) taper relief for business assets more generous. This relief creates incentives for investment in assets which generate sustained growth, with particular support for entrepreneurial investment. In particular, the Government will:
– Shorten the business asset taper from 10 years to 5 years, subject to detailed consultation; and
– Assess the case for widening the scope of CGT incentives towards entrepreneurial investment by reducing substantially the percentage thresholds for qualifying business asset shareholdings.
Subject to detailed consultation, the Government intends to introduce a 5 year taper for business assets which reduces the equivalent CGT rate for a higher rate taxpayer from 40 per cent for assets held for less than 1 year, reducing in 6 per cent steps to 10 per cent for assets held for more than 5 years.
A business asset includes substantial shareholdings in a trading company. The Government will assess the case for substantial reductions in the thresholds of 5 per cent and 25 per cent at which these shareholdings qualify.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
1. CGT taper relief was introduced in Finance Act 1998. The relief reduces the amount of a capital gain which is charged to tax on the disposal of an asset; the reduction increases the longer that asset is held after 5 April 1998. Taper relief applies to the capital gains of individuals, trusts and the personal representatives of deceased persons, but not to the capital gains of companies.
2. Different tapers apply to business assets and non-business assets. A business asset is an asset used for the purposes of a trade and a shareholding in a trading company (or the holding company of a trading group) in which the shareholder can exercise voting rights of at least 5 per cent (if the shareholder works full-time in the company’s business) or 25 per cent (otherwise).
3. The present CGT taper relief reduces the taxable gain on a business asset from 100 per cent if the asset has been held for less than one year after 5 April 1998 to 25 per cent if held for more than 10 years – effectively the rate of tax for a higher rate taxpayer is reduced from 40 per cent to 10 per cent.
4. For a non-business asset, CGT taper relief reduces the taxable gain from 100 per cent if the asset has been held for less than 3 years after 5 April 1998 to 60 per cent if held for more than 10 years – effectively a reduction in the CGT rate for a higher rate taxpayer from 40 per cent to 24 per cent.
5. Comments on the proposed changes are welcome and should be sent to:
Richard J. Thomas
Capital and Savings Division
London WC2R 1LB.