Capital gains tax

A capital gains tax (abbreviated: CGT) is a tax charged on capital gains, the profit realized on the sale of a non-inventory asset that was purchased at a lower price. The most common capital gains are realized from the sale of stocks, bonds, precious metals and property. Not all countries implement a capital gains tax and most have different rates of taxation for individuals and corporations.

For equities, an example of a popular and liquid asset, each national or state legislation, have a large array of fiscal obligations that must be respected regarding capital gains. Taxes are charged by the state over the transactions, dividends and capital gains on the stock market. However, these fiscal obligations may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction because, among other reasons, it could be assumed that taxation is already incorporated into the stock price through the different taxes companies pay to the state, or that tax free stock market operations are useful to boost economic growth.

Tax systems

Argentina

There is no capital gains tax charged in Argentina.

Australia

:main|Capital gains tax in Australia

Capital gains tax in Australia is only payable upon realized capital gains, except for certain provisions relating to deferred-interest debt such as zero coupon bonds. The tax is not separate in its own right, but forms part of the income tax system. The proceeds of an asset sold less its 'cost base' (the original cost plus addition for cost price increases over time) are the capital gain. Discounts and other concessions apply to certain taxpayers in varying circumstances. From the 21st of September 1999, after a report by Alan Reynolds the 50% capital gains tax discount has been in place for individuals and some trusts that acquired the asset after that time, however the tax is levied without any adjustment to the cost base for inflation. The amount left after applying the discount is added to the assessable income of the taxpayer for that financial year.

For individuals, the most significant exemption is the family home. The sale of personal residential property is normally exempt from Capital Gains Tax, except for gains realized during any period in which the property was not being used as a persons personal residence (for example, being leased to other tenants) or portions attributable to business use.

Belgium

Under the participation exemption, capital gains realised by a Belgian resident company on shares in a Belgian or foreign company are fully exempt from corporate income tax, provided that the dividends on the shares qualify for the participation exemption. For purposes of the participation exemption for capital gains the minimum participation test is not required.Unrealised capital gains on shares that are recognised in the financial statements (which recognition is not mandatory) are taxable. But a roll-over relief is granted if, and as long as, the gain is booked in a separate reserve account on the balance sheet and is not used for distribution or allocation of any kind.

As a counterpart to the new exemption of realised capital gains, capital losses on shares, both realised and unrealised, are no longer tax deductible. However, the loss incurred in connection with the liquidation of a subsidiary company remains deductible up to the amount of the paid-up share capital.

Other capital gains are taxed at the ordinary rate. If the total amount of sales is used for the purchase of depreciable fixed assets within 3 years, the taxation of the capital gains will be spread over the depreciable period of these assets. [ [http://economie.fgov.be/investors/why_invest_in_belgium/tax.htm#5 Invest in Belgium ] ]

Brazil

Capital gains tax is set at 15%, payable the following month after the sale in the case of shares.

Bulgaria

Capital gains tax is 10 % since 1st of January 2007.

Lithuania

Capital gains tax is 15 %.

Canada

Currently 50.00% of realized capital gains are taxed in Canada at an individual's tax rate. (ie $100 CG with 43% tax rate will attract $21.50 of tax.) Some exceptions apply, such as selling one's primary residence which may be exempt from taxation. [CRA. [http://www.cra-arc.gc.ca/E/pub/tp/it120r6/it120r6-e.html#P92_14422 IT-120R6 Principal Residence] ]

For example, if your capital gains (profit) is $100, you're only taxed on the first 50.00% at your marginal tax rate. For example, if you were in the top tax bracket you'd be taxed at approx 43%. Formula for this example using the top tax bracket would be as follows:

(Capital gain x 50.00%) x marginal tax rate = capital tax gain

= ($100 x 50.00%) x 43%

= $50 x 43%

= $21.50

In this example your capital gains tax on $100 is $21.50, leaving you with $78.50.

The formula is the same for capital losses and these can be carried forward indefinitely to offset future years' capital gains; capital losses not used in the current year can also be carried back to the previous three tax years to offset capital gains tax paid in those years.

Unrealized capital gains are not taxed.

China

Flat 10% of capital gains taxed with traded equities being exempt.

Denmark

Share dividends and realized capital gains on shares are charged 28% to individuals of gains up to DKK 45,500 (2007-level, adjusted annually), and at 43% of gains above that. As of 1 January 2008, an additional marginal rate of 45% will apply to gains above DKK 100,000 (2007-level, adjusted annually) per year. Carryforward of realized losses on shares is allowed.

Individuals' interest income from bank deposits and bonds, realized gains on property and other capital gains are taxed up to 59%, however, several exemptions occur, such as on selling one's principal private residence or on gains on selling bonds. Interest paid on loans is deductible, although in case the net capital income is negative, only approx. 33% tax credit applies.

Companies are taxed at 25%. However, for instance, realized gains on shares owned more than three years are tax exempt and only 66% of share dividends are subject to taxation. Carryforward of realized losses on shares owned less than three years is allowed.

Ecuador

Ecuador does not have capital gains tax for income gained abroad.

Estonia

There is no separate capital gains tax in Estonia. All earned income from capital gains is taxed the same as regular income, the rate of which currently stands at 21% and is expected to drop to 20% by 2009.

Finland

The capital gains tax in Finland is 28% on realized capital income. [VERO [http://www.vero.fi/default.asp?article=3619&domain=VERO_ENGLISH&path=488,489&language=ENG Taxation of Stock Options] ]

France

Capital gains tax is a flat 16%, with an annual exclusion or allowance of €5600. Residents pay an additional 11.6% 'Social Charges', non-residents are not liable to this, there is a 15 year taper relief. However, in some specific situation tax can be reduced or eliminated (such as selling one's principal private residence).

I think needs to be reviewed as after the first 5 years the amount decreased by 10% per year.

Germany

There is currently no capital gains tax after a holding period of one year for shares (if held in a private account not in a corporate account and if holding is less than 1% of the outstanding number of shares of the company) or ten years for real estate if held as private wealth (less than 3 transactions every ten years). Germany will introduce a very strict capital gains tax for shares, funds, certificates etc. from 2009 on. Real estate will still be free of capital gains tax if held for more than ten years.The German capital gains tax will be 25% plus Solidaritätszuschlag (add on tax to finance the 5 eastern states of Germany) plus church tax effectively coming to about 28%. No deductions of cost like custodian fees, travelling to and from annual shareholder meetings, legal and tax advice, interest paid on loans to buy shares etc. will be allowed any more from 2009 on.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong has no capital gains tax. This creates a loophole in the law whereby company directors can be paid in shares and stock options. As no tax is due on the capital gains, such individuals are able to avoid paying large amounts of tax which would otherwise have been due on their salaries, whereas corporation tax would be due on their company profits. However, salaries tax would be due on the open market value of the shares and options granted, less any amount that the individual paid for the grant.Fact|date=February 2007

Hungary

Since 1st of September 2006 there is one flat tax rate (20%) on capital income. This includes: selling stocks, bonds, mutual funds shares and also interests from bank deposits.

Iceland

In Iceland there is a 10% tax on realized capital gains.

India

As of 2008, equities are considered long term capital if the holding period is one year or more. Long term capital gains from equities are not taxed if shares are sold through recognised stock exchange and STT is paid on the sale . However short term capital gain from equities held for less than one year, is taxed at 15% (Increased from 10% to 15% after Budget 2008-09) (plus surcharge and education cess). This is applicable only for transactions that attract Securities Transaction Tax (STT).

Many other capital investments (house, buildings, real estate, bank deposits) are considered long term if the holding period is 3 or more years. [Indian Gov [http://www.incometaxindia.gov.in/publications/4_Compute_Your_Capital_Gains/Chapter2.asp Capital Gains Tax Calculator] ] Short term capital gains are taxed just as any other income and they can be negated against short term capital loss from the same business.

For more information [http://mytaxes.in/index.php?topic=30.0 Capital Gains Tax (India)] [http://www.taxworry.com/search/label/Capital%20Gain F.A.Q on Capital Gains Tax in India]

Ireland

There is a 20% tax on capital gains, with several exclusions and deductions (e.g. agricultural land, primary residence, transfers between spouses). Gains made where the asset was originally purchased before 2003 attract indexation relief (the cost of the asset can be multiplied by a published factor to reflect inflation). Costs of purchase and sale are deductible, and every person has an exempt band of €1,270 per year.

The tax rate is 23% on certain investment policies, and rises to 40% on certain offshore gains when they are not declared in time.

Tax on capital gains arising in the first nine months of the year must be paid by October 31st, and tax on capital gains arising in the last three months of the year must be paid by the following January 31st.

Italy

Capital gains are taxed at a flat 12.5%.

Japan

In Japan, there are two options for paying tax on capital gains. The first, nihongo|Withholding Tax|源泉課税, taxes all proceeds (regardless of profit or loss) at 1.05%. The second method, declaring proceeds as nihongo|"taxable income"|申告所得, requires individuals to declare 26% of proceeds on their income tax statement.

Many traders in Japan use both systems, declaring profits on the Withholding Tax system and losses as taxable income, minimizing the amount of income tax paid.

Malaysia

There is no capital gains tax for equities in Malaysia. Malaysia used to have a capital gains tax on real estate but the tax was repealed in April 2007.

Mexico

There is a capital gains tax in Mexico.

Moldova

Under the Moldovan Tax Code a capital gain is defined as the difference between the acquisition and the disposition price of the capital asset. Only this difference (i.e. the gain) is taxable. The applicable rate is half (1/2) of the income tax rate, which for individuals is 18% and for companies was 15% (but in 2008 is 0%). Therefore, in 2008 the capital gain tax rate is 9% for individuals and 0% for companies.

Not all types of assets are "capital assets". Capital assets include: real estate; shares; stakes in limited liability companies etc.

Netherlands

There is no capital gains tax in the Netherlands.

However a "theoretical capital yield" of 4% is taxed at a rate of 30%.

In other words, all property and savings (with the exception of owner-occupied dwelling, pensions, approved "green" investments and monies below a certain threshold) are taxed at 1.2% as a substitute for capital gains tax.

Also, dividends and "proceeds (Dutch: vervreemdingswinsten) from significant stakes" (e.g. 5% or more of the ownership of a company) are taxed at 25%. So the latter can be seen as a capital gains tax.

New Zealand

New Zealand does not have a capital gains tax in most cases. However, certain capital gains are classified as taxable income in New Zealand and thus are subject to income tax, such as regular share trading.

Norway

The individual capital gains tax in Norway is 28%. In most cases, there is no capital gains tax on profits from sale of your principal home. There is no capital gains tax for share-based profits for companies in Norway (capital gains excluding gains from property, bonds, and interest). Personal investment companies are popular for this reason, as well as single purpose companies for property investments.

Pakistan

There is currently no capital gains tax in Pakistan. However, it is anticipated that the country will levy a tax this upcoming fiscal year (2008-09). ["Several new taxes in budget, says Dar", "Dawn", 2008-05-13]

Poland

Since 2004 there is one flat tax rate (19%) on capital income. It includes: selling stocks, bonds, mutual funds shares and also interests from bank deposits.

Portugal

There is a capital gains tax on sale of home and property. Any capital gain ("mais-valia") arising is taxable as income. For residents this is on a sliding scale from 12-40%. However, for residents the taxable gain is reduced by 50%. Proven costs that have increased the value during the last five years can be deducted. For non-residents, the capital gain is taxed at a uniform rate of 25%. The capital gain which arises on the sale of own homes or residences, which are the elected main residence of the taxpayer or his family, is tax free if the total profit on sale is reinvested in the acquisition of another home, own residence or building plot in Portugal.

In 1986 and 1987 Portuguese corporations changed their capital structure by increasing the weight of equity capital. This was particularly notorious on quoted companies. In these two years, the government set up a large number of tax incentives to promote equity capital and to encourage the quotation on the stock exchange. Currently, for stock held for more than twelve months the capital gain is exempt. The capital gain of stock held for shorter periods of time is taxable on 10%.

Russia

There is no separate tax on capital gains; rather, gains or gross receipt from sale of assets are absorbed into income tax base. Taxation of individual and corporate taxpayers is distinctly different:
* Capital gains of individual taxpayers are tax free if the taxpayer owned the asset for at least three years. If not, gains on sales on real estate and securities are absorbed into their personal income tax base and taxed at 13% (residents) and 30% (non-residents). A tax resident is any individual residing in the Russian Federation for more than 183 days in the past year.
* Capital gains of resident corporate taxpayers operating under "general tax framework" are taxed as ordinary business profits at the common rate of 24%, regardless of the ownership period. Small businesses operating under "simplified tax framework" pay tax not on capital gains, but on gross receipts at 6% or 18%.
* Dividends that may be included into gains on disposal of securities are taxed at source at 9% (residents) and 15% (non-residents) for either corporate or individual taxpayers.

ingapore

There is no capital gains tax in Singapore.

outh Korea

Capital gains tax in South Korea is 11% for tax residents for sales of shares in small- and medium-sized companies. Rates of 22% and 33% apply in certain other situations. [http://www1.samil.com/publication/filemng.nsf/0/9DBA0F85774C3BF34925737C001CF249/$File/2007KoreanTaxSummaries.pdf]

weden

The capital gains tax in Sweden is 30% on realized capital income.

witzerland

There is no capital gains tax in Switzerland for residents. Corporate capital gains are taxed as ordinary income. Capital gains tax is charged to individuals on the sale property if sold within 10 years of purchase.

Thailand

There is no separate capital gains tax in Thailand. All earned income from capital gains is taxed the same as regular income. [http://tillekeandgibbins.com/FAQs/taxation.htm] However, if individual earns capital gain from security in the Stock Exchange of Thailand, it is exempted from personal income tax.

United Kingdom

Basics (Tax year April 2008-9)

Individuals who are resident or ordinarily resident in the United Kingdom (and trustees of various trusts) are subject to a capital gains tax, with exceptions for, for example, principal private residences, holdings in ISAs or gilts. Certain other gains are allowed to be rolled over upon re-investment. Investments in some start up enterprises are also exempt from CGT.

Every individual has an annual capital gains tax allowance: gains below the allowance are exempt from tax, and capital losses can be set against capital gains in other holdings before taxation.

All individuals are exempt from CGT up to a specified amount of capital gains per year. For the 2008/9 tax year this "annual exemption" is £9,600.

CGT is charged at 18%.

Entrepreneurs selling their business (technically "qualifying assets") can claim Entrepreneurs' Relief - a lifetime allowance of £1,000,000 of gain that will only be taxed at 10%.

Corporate notes

Companies are subject to corporation tax on their "chargeable gains" (the amounts of which are calculated along the lines of capital gains tax). Companies cannot claim taper relief, but can claim an indexation allowance to offset the effect of inflation. A corporate substantial shareholdings exemption was introduced on 1 April 2002 for holdings of 10% or more of the shares in another company (30% or more for shares held by a life assurance company's long-term insurance fund). This is effectively a form of UK participation exemption. Almost all of the corporation tax raised on chargeable gains is paid by life assurance companies taxed on the I minus E basis.

The rules governing the taxation of capital gains in the United Kingdom for individuals and companies are contained in the Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992.

Background to changes to 18% rate

In the Chancellor's October 2007 Autumn Statement, draft proposals were announced that would change the applicable rates of CGT as of 6 April 2008. Under these proposals, an individual's annual exemption will continue but taper relief will cease and a single rate of capital gains tax at 18% will be applied to chargeable gains. This new single rate would replace the individual's marginal (Income Tax) rate of tax for CGT purposes. The changes were introduced, at least in part, because the UK government felt that private equity firms were making excessive profits by benefiting from overly generous taper relief on business assetsFact|date=January 2008. The changes were criticised by a number of groups including the Federation of Small Businesses, who claimed that the new rules would increase the CGT liability of small businesses and discourage entrepreneurship in the UK [cite news |url=http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/bea3509e-c920-11dc-9807-000077b07658.html |title=Final showdown on CGT reforms |accessdate=2008-01-23 |author=Jean Eaglesham and John Willman |date=2008-01-23 |work= |publisher=Financial Times] . At the time of the proposals there was concern that the changes would lead to a bulk selling of assets just before the start of the 2008-09 tax year to benefit from existing taper relief.

Historic (useful if looking at years prior to April 2008)

Individuals pay capital gains tax at their highest marginal rate of income tax (0%, 10%, 20% or 40% in the tax year 2007/8) but since 6 April 1998 have been able to claim a "taper relief" which reduces the amount of a gain that is subject to capital gains tax (reducing the effective rate of tax), depending on whether the asset is a "business asset" or a "non-business asset" and the length of the period of ownership. Taper relief provides up to a 75% reduction (leaving 25% taxable) in taxable gains for business assets, and 40% (leaving 60% taxable), for non-business assets, for an individual.cite web |url= http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/guidance/cgt-introduction.pdf|title= An Introduction to Capital Gains Tax|accessdate=2008-04-22 |format=PDF |publisher = HM Revenue and Customs|pages = p. 94] Taper relief replaces indexation allowance for individuals, which can still be claimed for assets held prior to 6 April 1998 from the date of purchase until that date, but will itself be abolished on 2008-04-05.

United States

In the United States, individuals and corporations pay income tax on the net total of all their capital gains just as they do on other sorts of income, but the tax rate for individuals is lower on "long-term capital gains," which are gains on assets that had been held for over one year before being sold. The tax rate on long-term gains was reduced in 2003 to 15%, or to 5% for individuals in the lowest two income tax brackets (See progressive tax). Short-term capital gains are taxed at a higher rate: the ordinary income tax rate. The reduced 15% tax rate on eligible dividends and capital gains, previously scheduled to expire in 2008, has been extended through 2010 as a result of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act signed into law by President Bush on May 17, 2006 (P.L. 109-222). In 2011 these reduced tax rates will "sunset," or revert to the rates in effect before 2003, which were generally 20%.

The IRS allows for individuals to defer capital gains taxes with tax planning strategies such as the Structured sale (Ensured Installment Sale), charitable trust (CRT), installment sale, private annuity trust, and a 1031 exchange. The United States is unlike other countries in that its citizens are subject to U.S. tax on their worldwide income no matter where in the world they reside. U.S. citizens therefore find it difficult to take advantage of personal tax havens. Although there are some offshore bank accounts that advertise as tax havens, U.S. law requires reporting of income from those accounts and failure to do so constitutes tax evasion.

Deferring or reducing capital gains tax

Capital gains tax can be deferred or reduced if a seller utilizes the proper sales method and/or deferral technique. There are many such sales techniques and methods, each of which has its benefits and drawbacks. See some ways to defer and/or reduce capital gains tax below.

* Charitable trust - Defer and reduce capital gains by giving equity to a charity.
* Installment Sale - Defer capital gains by taking payments from a buyer over a period of years. No protection from buyer default.
* (US only) Deferred Sales Trust- Allows the seller of property to defer capital gains tax due at the time of sale over a period of time.
* (US only) 1031 exchange - Defer tax by exchanging for "like kind" property--however, generally available only for real estate and tangible property, both of which must be business-related. Pay capital gains when they are realized (i.e. when subsequently sold).
* (US only) Structured sale annuity (aka Ensured Installment Sale) - Defer and reduce capital gains tax while gaining safety and a stream of guaranteed income.
* (US Only) Self Directed Installment Sale (SDIS) [http://www.nafep.com/sdis/self_directed_installment_sale.htm] Allows for the deferral of capital gains taxes while removing the risks from buyer default under a traditional installment sale
* (US only) (historical) Private annuity trust - No longer a valid tax deferral tool.

References

External links

* [http://brookings.nap.edu/books/0815712707/html/ The Labyrinth of Capital Gains Tax Policy: A Guide for the Perplexed] (1999), Brookings Institution Press.
* [http://www.deloittetaxguides.com/ Deloitte Tax Country Guides]
* [http://www.asx.com.au/about/pdf/cgt.pdf] Alan Reynolds, Capital Gains Tax: Analysis of Reform Options for Australia] (1999), Australian Stock Exchange.
* [http://www.irs.gov/businesses/small/industries/article/0,,id=98491,00.html IRS "Like Kind Exchanges Tax Tips"]


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • capital gains tax — (CGT) When you sell a capital asset such as a property or shares, the profit is treated as a capital gain rather than income and is subject to Capital Gains Tax. This is the difference between the base cost (i.e. the acquisition cost) and the… …   Law dictionary

  • capital gains tax — n [U] a tax that you pay on profits that you make when you sell your possessions …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • capital gains tax — capital gains ,tax noun uncount a tax that a person or company pays on the profit you get from selling property or from money you have invested …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • capital gains tax — The tax levied on profits from the sale of capital assets. A long term capital gain, which is achieved once an asset is held for at least 12 months, is taxed at a maximum rate of 20% (taxpayers in 28% tax bracket) and 10% (taxpayers in 15% tax… …   Financial and business terms

  • Capital Gains Tax — A type of tax levied on capital gains incurred by individuals and corporations. Capital gains are the profits that an investor realizes when he or she sells the capital asset for a price that is higher than the purchase price. Capital gains taxes …   Investment dictionary

  • capital gains tax — CGT A UK tax on capital gains Most countries have a form of income tax under which they tax the profits from trading and a different tax to tax substantial disposals of assets either by traders for whom the assets are not trading stock (e. g. a… …   Big dictionary of business and management

  • capital gains tax — A provision formerly in the income tax laws that profits from the sale of capital assets are taxed at separate (lower) rates than the rate applicable to ordinary income. The Tax Reform Act of 1986 changed the tax treatment of long term capital… …   Black's law dictionary

  • capital gains tax — noun a tax on capital gains he avoided the capital gains tax by short selling • Hypernyms: ↑tax, ↑taxation, ↑revenue enhancement * * * capital gains tax [capital gains tax] …   Useful english dictionary

  • capital gains tax — Fin a tax on the difference between the gross acquisition cost and the net proceeds when an asset is sold. In the United Kingdom, this tax also applies when assets are given or exchanged, although each individual has an annual capital gains tax… …   The ultimate business dictionary

  • capital gains tax — n [C, U] (in Britain) a tax on the profits people make from selling investments (= things in which they have invested money), such as shares or property. * * * Tax levied on gains realized from the sale or exchange of capital assets. Though… …   Universalium


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.