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Introduction to this document

CGT negligible value claim

If you own an asset that has become of negligible value, i.e. worthless, you can make a negligible value claim to HMRC which entitles you to treat the asset as if it were sold for nothing. The effect of this is to create a capital loss.

Losses on shares

You may have made an investment in the past that has performed badly. Indeed, you may have written it off in your own mind but, if you haven’t sold it, it may only be a paper loss that is not allowable for CGT purposes. However, there is an exception to the normal rule whereby you may be able to establish an allowable capital loss to offset against a capital gain even though there hasn’t been an actual disposal. If you can persuade HMRC that the shares are virtually worthless, e.g. the company has ceased trading and is insolvent, you can make a CGT Negligible Value Claim to offset this loss against your capital gains to reduce the amount of CGT you pay.

Negligible value list

HMRC keeps a list of quoted shares that are recognised as being of negligible value (see https://www.gov.uk/guidance/negligible-value-agreements-to-30-june-2014).

Checking negligible value

HMRC operates a post-transaction valuation service for capital gains, which is accessed by submitting Form CG34 (https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/sav-post-transaction-valuation-checks-for-capital-gains-cg34) to HMRC. You can also use this service to check if an asset has become of negligible value. Submit the Form CG34 at the same time as your negligible value claim.

Time limit

You can make a negligible value claim at any time after the shares have become worthless. Therefore, defer a claim until there are sufficient gains to avoid you wasting your annual exemption. The shares will be treated as though you sold them on the date you made the claim or up to two years before the tax year in which you make the claim (as long as they were worthless at the time).