Personal Tax

Disposal of chattels and wasting assets ― individuals

Produced by Tolley
  • 04 Jan 2022 11:11

The following Personal Tax guidance note Produced by Tolley provides comprehensive and up to date tax information covering:

  • Disposal of chattels and wasting assets ― individuals
  • Cheap chattels
  • Anti-avoidance
  • Wasting chattels
  • Wasting assets that are not chattels
  • Plant and machinery
  • Sale at a gain
  • Sale at a loss
  • Plant used in the trade of another person

Disposal of chattels and wasting assets ― individuals

The term ‘chattel’ means tangible moveable property, ie assets that can be seen, touched and moved.

Examples of chattels include paintings, antiques, racehorses and computers. Assets such as buildings, land, leases or shares are not chattels because they cannot be seen, touched and moved. Land and buildings are not moveable assets, and assets such as leases and shares are intangible assets.

A wasting asset is an asset with a predictable useful life not exceeding 50 years. A wasting asset may or may not also be a chattel. An example of a wasting asset that is not a chattel is fixed plant and machinery (ie it is not moveable).

This guidance note considers the capital gains tax consequences of disposing of:

  1. cheap chattels (including anti-avoidance where the transactions are linked)

  2. wasting chattels

  3. wasting assets that are not chattels

  4. wasting assets or wasting chattels that have been subject to claims for capital allowances

Advisers may also find the discussion of the rules in relation to specific chattels in CG76870P useful.

Cheap chattels

A cheap chattel is a non-wasting chattel, ie tangible moveable property that will last for more than 50 years (eg paintings, antiques and jewellery). See below for a discussion of wasting chattels.

Before considering the rules for cheap chattels, you need to decide whether the asset disposed of is exempt under other statutory provisions. See the Exempt assets guidance note.

The rules on the disposal of cheap chattels can be summarised in the table below:

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