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bigduckontax
bigduckontax, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 4203
Experience:  FCCA FCMA CGMA ACIS
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Customer Question

I have sold shares over the last few years which I inherited. I did not realise that I may have some tax liability. The sales go back over the last 5 years or so. I am not registered assessment yet and have no paper records of the sales. What is your advice on how to deal with this problem?

Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
, I'm Keith and happy to help you with your question.
If you know the approximate dates of sale and the number of shares then the gain can be computed from the individual companies who will have a historic record of prices. There are also several web sites with the same information. The acquisition price will be the value from the probate of the deceased's estate. I regret that you will have much work with a wet towel round your head and the backs of lots of envelopes in your computations.
Remember that you have an Annual Exempt Allowance of 11k [this year], 10.9K [13/14] et seq. here is a fuller list:
6 April 2014 - 5 April 2015 £11,000
6 April 2013 - 5 April 2014 £10,900
6 April 2012 - 5 April 2013 £10,600
6 April 2011 - 5 April 2012 £10,600
6 April 2010 - 5 April 2011 £10,100
6 April 2009 - 5 April 2010 £10,100
6 April 2008 - 5 April 2009 £9,600.
So you see depending on the quantity of shares disposed of you may well have no liability at all. Once you have calculated your liability, if any, I would be inclined to take it up with your tax office by means of a letter. They will tell you if they wish you to make a self assessment tax return. Even HMRC do not wish to process returns which yield no revenue.
I do hope I have shown you a way forward, albeit with a lot of work on your part.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks initial help, I was aware of the approximate exemption figures. My real concerns are, that I have had no other taxable income 5 years and therefore have had no dealings at all with HMRC. Would it be advisable to register assessment immediately, or would you suggest I contact all companies concerned first? As acquisition price, would I need to contact the solicitor that handled the estate? Finally, if I am liable from past years am I likely to be charged a penalty declaring earlier?

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.

I would be inclined to work it out first to see if there is actually any liability.

As I said HMRC are not interested in returns which yield no revenue after processing.

The solicitor who handled the estate should have the detail and should have advised you of the probate value on distribution of the estate. Most of this data will be available on public listed company's web sites anyway so there will be no need to waste time and effort writing letters.

If you are in arrears with tax then you will be charged interest by HMRC and maybe penalties too. They are very keen on imposing these nowadays, but if you do not owe anything then it is rather unlikely that you will be penalised.

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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

OK thanks. So, as I am not registered assessment at the moment I do not need to worry about the deadline of 31st January, though obviously I should get all the information as a matter of urgency I assume.

Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
I would suggest that most adviseable.
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Expert:  bigduckontax replied 2 years ago.
Thank you support.