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TonyTax, Tax Consultant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 15979
Experience:  Inc Tax, CGT, Corp Tax, IHT, VAT.
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I invested £5000 about 25 years ago on a Distribution Bond

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I invested £5000 about 25 years ago on a Distribution Bond with company now called Friends Life. The value is now just over £20000. I wish to cash it in. I pay 20% tax as I am retired. What is the tax implication if I cash in?

Hi. My name is*****'m looking at your question now and will post my answer or ask for more information here in a short while.

Have you made any cash withdrawals from the bond in the time it has been in existence?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.


Based on what you have told me, you will make a chargeable event gain of £15,000 if you cash in the bond. Assuming it is a UK based bond, the gain will be treated as basic rate tax paid. In order to work out whether you will have a higher rate tax liability you divide the gain of £15,000 by 25 (the age of the bond) and add £600 (£15,000/25) to your annual income. If the total income is no more than £43,000 in 2016/17, then you have no tax to pay. If the total income is more than £43,000 then you take 20% of the part over £43,000 and mulltiply that by 25 to arrive at your tax liability, amaximu of £3,000 (£600 @ (40% - 20%) x 25).

Take a look at HS320 for more information on UK investment bonds and how they are taxed. Offshore bond gains are not treated as basuic rate tax paid so you would have a tax liability of at least 20% of the gain. HS321 deals with offshore bonds.

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

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you. I will reflect on this and may have to get back to you, Do I have to inform HMRC if I calculate no tax is due or do I inform them anywayI

HMRC will be advised of the chargeable event gain by Friends Life. If you have no tax to pay, you need do nothing.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry forgot to mention wife's name on bond. She is also retired and no where near her personal allowance. Does this alter things?

It makes it more likely that there will be no tax to pay.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for your help. 5 star. Regards Jim