How much is the Capital Gains Tax on shares?
How much Capital Gains Tax you pay when selling company shares or share options for a profit depends on:
- how you received them
- from whom
- and how big the profit is.
I am selling shares from an ISA
Simple. There is no tax to pay if your annual contributions to your ISA stayed in the £20k limit.
I am selling shares that I bought through a broker or a general investment account (GIA)
In this case the calculation is straightforward as well:
- Zero Capital Gains Tax if your overall profit was under £12,000
- 10% if your overall annual income is under £50,000
- 20% if your overall annual income is over £50,000.
Use our Capital Gains Tax calculator to work out how much you need to pay.
I am selling EIS, SEIS, or VCT shares
- EIS and SEIS: as long as you held them for the required time, there is zero Capital Gains Tax to pay
- VCTs: there’s no holding time period to benefit of this zero CGT rule.
Read more in our guide to tax-efficient investments.
I am selling shares that I received from my employer
It all depends on your relationship to your employer:
|Type of shares||How you received them||Capital Gains Tax|
|your company’s common shares||you owned at least £2,000 worth of shares in your company||you only pay CGT on gains over £100,000 that you make during your lifetime|
|your company’s common shares||you owned at least 5% of the company||you might qualify for Entrepreneurs’ Relief and pay CGT at a reduced rate of 10%|
|your company’s common shares||through a Share Incentive Plan (SIP)||—|
|your or other companies’ publicly listed shares||through a Save As You Earn (SAYE) plan||—|
|your company’s share options||through a Share Option Plan||normal rate (on the difference between the exercise price and what you sold them for)|
|your company’s share options||through an Enterprise Management Incentive Plan (EMI)||normal rate (on the difference between the exercise price and what you sold them for)|
I am selling shares that I received as a gift
If the person giving you the shares was your spouse, then you don’t need to do anything.
Otherwise you need to calculate and pay CGT.
What if I made a loss?
If you made a capital loss when selling shares, you can:
- deduct it from any gains you made in the same tax year
- and “carry forward” any remaining losses to a future tax year.