Capital losses

By Tolley in association with Paul Davies at DWF

The following Trusts and Inheritance Tax guidance note by Tolley in association with Paul Davies at DWF provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Capital losses
  • Calculations and claims
  • Trustees’ use of losses
  • Anti-avoidance

Calculations and claims

Losses arising to trustees are calculated in the same way as they are for individuals. Capital losses are automatically set against any gains of the same tax year; any that are unused can be carried forward and set against gains arising in subsequent years. They cannot be carried back and set against gains of a previous year.

TCGA 1992, ss 16, 1(3) (from 6 April 2019); TCGA 1992, ss 16, 2(2) (up to 5 April 2019)

Losses brought forward are only set against gains of subsequent years to the extent required to reduce the gains of that year to the amount of the applicable annual exemption. In this way none of the annual exemption is wasted.

TCGA 1992, s 1K(4) (from 6 April 2019); TCGA 1992, s 3 (up to 5 April 2019)

Losses must be claimed in order to be allowable, normally on the Capital Gains supplementary pages  of the Trust and Estate Tax Return . The general time limit for claims and reliefs is four years from the end of the year of assessment to which they relate. It is advisable to include details of capital losses on the annual tax return as a matter of routine, even though there is no requirement to do so. Then, if gains are made in the future, the losses available for set-off have been recorded and claimed. Once claimed, losses can be carried forward indefinitely.

TMA 1970, s 43

These general rules are discussed in the Use of capital losses guidance note in the Personal Tax module (subscription sensitive) in relation to individuals, but the same principles apply to trustees and personal representatives.

Trustees’ use of losses
Sale of trust assets

If trustees make an arms-length disposal of trust assets for a sum that is less than their acquisition value then a loss will normally arise.

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