Knowledge from Crunch - love accounting

What is Entrepreneurs’ Relief when selling shares in your business?

Posted by Tom West on Mar 11th, 2020 | Tax

Woman using a calculator - What is Entrepreneurs' Relief - Crunch

Entrepreneurs’ Relief reduces the amount of Capital Gains Tax payable when you dispose of (sell) shares in all or part of your business.

It results in a tax rate of 10% on the value of the disposal. There’s no limit to how many times you can claim and you can claim up to £1 million of relief during your lifetime (prior to 6th April 2020 the lifetime limit was £10 million). The same rules apply regardless of the rate of income tax you pay.

Who can claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief?

There is a qualifying period to claim Entrepreneurs Relief which means the share disposal needs to have happened within two years of the end of the relevant tax year.

You must also meet all of the following conditions:

  1. The person disposing of shares must own at least 5% of the ordinary share capital of the company, which must entitle them to at least:
    – 5% of the votes
    – 5% of the company’s distributable profits
    – 5% of the net assets on winding up
  2. The person disposing of the shares must also be an officer or employee of the company, and all employment conditions must have been met for at least the 24 months leading up to the disposal.
  3. The company must have traded in the 24 months leading up to the date of the share disposal.

Where the company intends to cease trading and dissolve, the relief can still be claimed provided:

  • the distribution of any assets in the company is taxed as a capital distribution and not as income
  • the distribution takes place within three years of when the company ceased trading
  • the three qualifying conditions (listed above) were met in the 24 months prior to the company ceasing to trade.

Deadlines for claiming Entrepreneurs’ Relief

To avoid missing the boat, you need to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief by the first anniversary of the 31st January following the tax year of the disposal of shares:

Tax year ended Deadline to claim
5th April 2021 (2020/21 tax year) 31st January 2023
5th April 2020 (2019/20 tax year) 31st January 2022
5th April 2019 (2018/19 tax year) 31st January 2021

How to claim Entrepreneurs’ Relief

You can make a claim on your annual Self Assessment return in the supplementary ‘Capital Gains Summary’ section. However, seeking advice beforehand from an accountant is highly recommended. If you’re wanting information on how to value your business read our article “Six simple ways to value a business”.

Other Entrepreneurs’ Relief rules apply if selling other assets (ie. not shares). Please speak with your accountant for bespoke advice in this area.

As always, this article is only provided for general information, so for specific advice on your individual circumstances, please speak with your accountant.

Make Self Assessment a doddle with our guide

If you don’t have an accountant then why not speak to one of our Crunch advisors to see how we could help you? We have a great range of accountancy packages that combine our easy-to-use online accounting software, with our superhero client managers and expert accountants to make keeping on top of your finances a breeze.

See how Crunch could help your business!

Discover our free software and our suite of great value accountancy packages.

Join Crunch Chorus:
The free community for the self-employed

You'll get access to a range of benefits, such as invoice software, jargon-free business guides, great networking opportunities, discounts, plus much more

Useful tools and resources

Business guides

From understanding expenses to starting a limited company, we've a range of jargon-free business guides for you to download and keep.

Invoicing software and templates

Create, send and store sole trader invoices in a snap with our free invoice software. You can also download a selection of invoice templates for all business types.

Take-home pay calculator

Use our Take-Home Pay Calculator to work out your true earnings and see if you could save money with a different company set up.

Need help with your accountancy?

Join 11,000 clients who trust our advice, support, and leading accountancy software for their business. All the support and advice you need, wherever you need it. Speak to an expert today on 0333 311 0800 to find out more about our bespoke packages.

    Find out more