How much is the capital gains tax on shares?

We've updated this guide on 26th July 2019

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 sharesHow you received themCapital Gains Tax
your company’s common sharesyou owned at least £2,000 worth of shares in your companyyou only pay CGT on gains over £100,000 that you make during your lifetime
your company’s common sharesyou owned at least 5% of the companyyou might qualify for Entrepreneurs’ Relief and pay CGT at a reduced rate of 10%
your company’s common sharesthrough a Share Incentive Plan (SIP)
your or other companies’ publicly listed sharesthrough a Save As You Earn (SAYE) plan
your company’s share optionsthrough a Share Option Plannormal 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 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.

Need help with your tax return?

Get your self assessment prepared for you online by certified accountants for £119

Online self assessment preparation assisted by professional accountants

How TaxScouts works

Simple online tax assessment

1. Simple online tax assessment

Our online tax-bot will go over your tax situation and will make sure you won’t overpay your taxes.

Chat to human advisors

2. Chat to human advisors

You can talk to one of our tax assistants at any time during the process when you have any questions.

We’ll sort your documents online

3. We’ll sort your documents online

We’ll tell you exactly what documents you need and sort them for you online. You just upload them or snap a picture with your phone.

Everything gets prepared for you

4. Everything gets prepared for you

Your certified accountant will go over your details & prepare your tax return for you to review. It will be filed on your behalf once you approve it.

"A quick and reliable service"
My self assessment tax return completed within 2-3 days. I'll definitely be using TaxScouts again and recommend to family and friends.
I will happily recommend them and frankly don't care if Marcus is real or a room full of whirring AI - TaxScouts is brilliant.
Andy B
"Smooth and easy process"
Smooth and easy process. Will use every year! Very helpful staff as well!
Oliver J W

Who our service is for

First time tax filers

We have a simple online service that guides you through the entire process. Regardless of your reasons for doing your tax return we'll help you get it done right.

Construction workers

We'll prepare your self assessment and help to maximise your CIS tax refund. We have the lowest fees in the industry and you don't have to pay up front if you're eligible for a refund.

People living overseas

Our service allows people living abroad to prepare their income tax return online. We are able to process all returns regardless of your current country of residence.

Company directors

UK company directors are required to file their self assessment annually. TaxScouts handles this through a simple online process.


Long Lets, Airbnb, Capital Gains. TaxScouts will sort out your self assessment and take away the worry of tracking all the recent tax changes.


TaxScouts ensures the self employed don't overpay on their taxes. We'll help you benefit from all the tax breaks and deductions that can be applied to your return.

And for everyone else who needs to do their self assessment

At TaxScouts we appreciate that tax returns are highly individual. Before you get assigned an accountant we make sure to understand your circumstances and help you build your optimal tax profile.