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Capital Exemptions and Losses

Newsletter issue - March 2012.

You can make up to £10,600 of capital gains in 2011/12 and pay no tax on that amount, as it should be covered by your annual capital gains exemption. If you have not used this annual exemption in 2011/12, check whether you can make any disposals which will crystallise gains before 6 April 2012. Individuals who have non-domicile status may not qualify for this annual exemption.

The annual exemption limit will be frozen in 2012/13 at £10,600. Any unused exemption for 2011/12 cannot be carried forward or passed on to a spouse. However, you can pass assets to your spouse or civil partner tax free. Then on the sale of the asset your spouse's annual exemption can be set against the gain.

The gift of the asset to your spouse must be done well in advance of the sale, with the correct legal documents drawn up. Take legal advice if you are not sure how to change the ownership of an asset.

If you have assets that have reduced in value so they are now worth almost nothing, you can make use of that loss by making a negligible value claim. If you submit the claim in 2011/12 you can ask for the loss to be treated as arising in 2010/11 or 2009/10 if the asset was also virtually worthless at that earlier date. This is useful, as capital losses can generally only be carried forward, not backwards.