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Deferring taxable gains until future sales

It may be possible to delay paying Capital Gains Tax (CGT) if you sell a business asset that is subject to a charge to CGT, but you use all or part of the proceeds to buy new business assets. The relief you can claim is called Rollover Relief.

This relief means you won’t usually pay any CGT until you sell the new, replacement asset. Depending on the circumstances of the replacement asset sale, you may then need to pay CGT on the gain from the original asset.

You can also claim provisional Rollover Relief if you are planning to buy new assets with your proceeds of sale, but haven’t done so as yet, or if you use the proceeds to improve assets you already own.

To qualify for Rollover Relief, the following circumstances must apply:

  • you must buy the new assets within 3 years of selling or disposing of the old ones (or up to one year before)
  • your business must be trading when you sell the old assets and buy the new ones
  • you must use the old and new assets in your business

You can claim relief on assets including land and buildings, fixed plant or machinery – and space stations! The old and new assets don’t have to be the same kind.

Different rules apply if you only reinvest part of the proceeds from selling the old assets, if the old were only partly used in your business, or if you use the proceeds to buy ‘depreciating assets’ (fixed plant or machinery, or assets expected to last for less than 60 years when acquired).

The devil as always is in the detail. If you are considering the sale of an asset that would normally be subject to a CGT charge, and you are aiming to replace the asset, we would suggest that you call to discuss the transactions to make sure you make the most of this relief.

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