Here is some general information you might find useful when you need to consider your UK individual CGT position generally and the CGT position for your BT shares specifically.
Nothing on this page can be read as financial advice, nor should the information on this page be relied on for tax purposes. No-one at BT or at Equiniti (BT’s share registrar and employee share plans administrator) can give you any financial advice or advice in respect of CGT.
If you are in any doubt about CGT, you may wish to consult a suitably authorised financial adviser.
What is Capital Gains Tax (CGT)?
CGT is a tax on the profit or gain you make when you sell, or otherwise dispose of, an asset such as shares. General information about CGT is available on the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) website at: https://www.gov.uk/personal-tax/capital-gains-tax
You can also find general information about shares and UK CGT on the HMRC website at: https://www.gov.uk/tax-sell-shares
Will I have to pay CGT?
If you decide to sell assets such as shares, you may have to pay CGT if the gain you make (the positive difference between the cost of the asset (for CGT purposes) and the proceeds you receive on sale), together with any other CGT chargeable gains that you make in the same tax year, is greater than the CGT annual exemption limit (£11,000 for the 2015/16 tax year and £11,100 for the 2016/17 tax year).
A liability to CGT can also arise if you give assets such as shares away. The gain is calculated by deducting the cost of the asset (for CGT purposes) from the market value at the time of disposal. This is a complex area and you are strongly advised to seek suitably authorised financial and tax advice.
How is CGT calculated on my BT shares?
You need to:
1. Work out the gain or loss. You need to identify which BT shares you sold to work out how much they cost for CGT purposes (the CGT base cost) using the following identification rules and in the following order:
2. Add together any other capital gains and take away any capital losses in the same tax year
3. Deduct your tax-free allowance (the ‘Annual Exempt Amount’ – £11,100 for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 tax years)
4. Work out the tax due on any gains that remain.
What’s the rate of CGT?
UK individual CGT is chargeable at 18% for basic rate taxpayers for the 2015/16 tax year and 10% for the 2016/17 tax year. For higher rate taxpayers CGT is chargeable at 28% for the 2015/16 tax year and 20% for the 2016/17 tax year.
Where do I get the CGT information I need for my personal BT shareholding?
It is your own responsibility to retain sufficient information for past share transactions to satisfy any tax obligations (such as contract notes; tax vouchers etc).
Please note that the BT share register managed by Equiniti does not include details of purchase prices for shares, as people can buy BT shares from many sources with different prices and they do not inform Equiniti, BT’s share registrar of the purchase prices.
You can find the market value of shares at given dates
Corporate transactions in BT’s history will affect how CGT is calculated. The latest corporate transaction was the demerger of mmO2 in November 2001. Further details can be found our listing history information.
Further information for BT employees and ex-employees who are subject to UK income tax and acquired shares through BT UK employee share plans.