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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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Some shares worth £50,000 were sold on my behalf in 2003.

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Some shares worth £50,000 were sold on my behalf in 2003. I have just become aware of the circumstances and am unsure if this was liable for Tax. If so how much would this
cost ?

Can you give me a little more information about the circumstances please. Why were you not aware of the share sale that appears to have taken place on your behalf? How did you come to acquire them and when was that?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Dear *****

Some shares which had been held in the family since 1993 were shared out in about 1997 between 7 family members. The person who gave us these shares is is still alive. The shares were in a company which changed ownership and we were forced to sell the shares. I was aware of the sale and gave my permission at the time but as all the shares were sold at the same time, one person took responsibility for this.

I hope this makes sense and clarifies the query.

Thank you


What is your relationship to the family member who gave you the shares? Were you over 18 at the time you were gifted the shares? When you say that one person "took responsibility for this", did they report the whole gain in their personal tax return and pay Capital Gains Tax? What has made you think about this now?

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sister, I was over 18.

I am not sure about the capital gains question but I think the answer is no. I can get clarification but it will take a little while.


Leave this with me while I draft my answer.

Hi again.

The CGT rules now are very different to those which existed in 2003.

Though you did not pay for them, the shares do not have £0 cost for tax purposes. The value of the shares when they were given to you in 1997 is their cost for Capital Gains Tax purposes

If your holding was classed as a business asset in your hands, then you would have qualified for business asset taper relief (after the deduction of indexation relief), the effect of which was to make 75% of any post indexation allowance gain tax free after an ownership period of at least two years. If a disposal qualified for 75% taper relief, the effective rate of tax on the gain was 10% (£100 - £75 x 40% top income tax rate).

If your shareholding did not qualify as a business asset, then you will still have qualified for indexation relief and taper relief at a slower rate. Take a look at the table here for the taper relief rates which depended on the length of time an asset was held. A bonus year was given for assets held at 5 April 1988.

Take a look here for information on the tax free gains which could be made in 2002/03 and 2003/04. Any taxable gain after deduction of the reliefs and annual exemption would have been added to your income for the relevant tax year and taxed at whatever income tax rates were applicable to you/

There is information here and here on taper relief.

You really ought to find out more about the situation from family members in 1997 and 2003. You need to know what the value of the shares was in 1997 and whether the holding qualified as a business asset. It might be worth having an accountant or tax adviser look at it for you in detail as the disposal should have been reported to the tax office regardless of whether there was a gain or not.

I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.

TonyTax and other Tax Specialists are ready to help you
Hi again.

It's been a few days since I answered your question. Is there anything you need further clarification on?