Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the sale, gift or exchange of an asset

How to calculate CGT

Note

You must file a return if you have disposed of an asset, even if there is no tax due.

CGT is only applied to the ‘chargeable gain’, not the whole amount you receive.

The chargeable gain of an asset is the difference between:

  • the amount you received for it (sale price)
  • and
  • the amount you paid for it (purchase price) and any ‘allowable expenses’.

Note

Calculate your chargeable gain for the whole tax year.

If you have more than one gain, add them together. You also need to deduct any losses.

If you owned the asset before 2003, you may claim  indexation relief.

You might need to use the ‘market value’ instead of sale price or purchase price. For example, if you gift an asset to someone instead of selling it. The market value of an asset is the best price you would get if you sold the asset on the open market.

Note

If you are an individual, you have a personal exemption of €1,270 each year. If your chargeable gain is less than this, you will not have to pay any CGT.

Rate of CGT

The rate of CGT is 33% for most gains. There are other rates for specific types of gains. These rates are:

  • 40% for gains from foreign life policies and foreign investment products
  • 15% for gains from venture capital funds for individuals and partnerships
  • 12.5% for gains from venture capital funds for companies.

Venture capital is money that is invested in a start-up company or small business.

What are ‘allowable expenses’?

They are costs that you can deduct from the sale price to work out your chargeable gain. These can be:

  • any money spent by you which adds value to the asset (known as ‘enhancement expenditure’)
  • costs (for example, fees paid by you to a solicitor or auctioneer) when you acquired and disposed of the asset.

When do you use market value?

You will need to use the market value of the asset to work out your chargeable gain if:

  • it was a gift to someone other than your spouse or civil partner
  • you sold it for less than it was worth to help the buyer
  • you inherited it and are now disposing of it
  • you bought it before 6 April 1974.

How to calculate how much CGT to pay

When you have worked out your chargeable gain, work out your taxable gain by deducting:

  • your personal exemption (if you are an individual)
  • any other exemptions or reliefs due
  • allowable losses.

When you know what your total taxable gain for a tax year is, multiply it by the rate of CGT.

Note

You might be able to claim a credit for foreign CGT you have paid.

Historical CGT rates

Rates for most gains changed on 6 December 2013 to 33%.

Historic CGT rates
Date of disposalCGT rate
7 December 2011 – 5 December 2012 30%
8 April 2009 – 6 December 2011 25%
15 October 2008 – 7 April 2009 22%
Up to and including 14 October 2008 20%

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