Capital gains tax: all change?

14 July 2020

The Chancellor has asked the Office for Tax Simplification (OTS) to review various aspects of the UK capital gains tax regime, with a view to reform and simplification.

On one level, this does not sound like the start of a policy shift: a chance to look at "opportunities to simplify the taxation of chargeable gains, to ensure the system is fit for purpose and makes the experience of those who interact with it as smooth as possible."

But the instructions from the Treasury also seek advice on reform of "allowances, exemptions, reliefs and the treatment of losses within CGT, and the interactions of how gains are taxed compared to other types of income."  That leaves the potential for the OTS to put forward more significant recommendations on re-shaping the taxation of capital gains.

Reliefs from capital gains tax have attracted quite a bit of comment in recent years, in particular entrepreneurs' relief. With that regime now more tightly regulated and restricted to £1m of lifetime gains, it will be interesting to see where the OTS chooses to focus when looking at opportunities to change other CGT exemptions.