Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is normally charged at a simple flat rate of 20% and this applies to most chargeable gains made by individuals. If taxpayers only pay basic rate tax and make a small capital gain, they may only be subject to a reduced rate of 10%. Once the total of taxable income and gains exceed the higher rate threshold, the excess will be subject to 20% CGT.
A higher rate of CGT applies to gains on the disposal of residential property (apart from a principal private residence). The rates are 18% for basic rate taxpayers and 28% for higher rate taxpayers. Again, if the gain pushes a taxpayer into the higher rate, then CGT will be payable at both rates.
The usual due date for paying any CGT owed to HMRC is the 31 January following the end of the tax year in which the capital gain was made. However, since April 2020, any CGT due on the sale of a residential property needs to be paid within 30 days. In practice, this change only applies to the sale of residential property that does not qualify for Private Residence Relief (PRR).
There is also an annual CGT exemption for individuals that is currently £12,300. A husband and wife each have a separate exemption. Same-sex couples who acquire a legal status as civil partners are treated in the same way as married couples for CGT purposes.