Must you file a CGT return if no tax is due?

Q&A: Dominic Coyle

Listen to the Revenue people tell you – they’re the experts. Photograph:  Nick Bradshaw

Listen to the Revenue people tell you – they’re the experts. Photograph: Nick Bradshaw

 

I came across an article you wrote back in 2016 since I am in the same situation as the guy who submitted the question. Just to double-check I also went to the revenue.ie site and found the following sentence under “How do you file your CGT return?”

“You should file by 31 October in the year after the date of disposal. You must do this even if no tax is due because of reliefs or losses.”

I’m confused now and not sure if I need to to anything. I sold my shares this week right below the tax-free limit of €1,270. I don’t have any other reliefs or losses and I’ll be moving away from Ireland in April next year.

Mr P.H., email

As a general rule, if in doubt, listen to the Revenue. They’re the experts...and they’re also the people who can pursue you if you get it wrong.

You are indeed correct in your understanding from the Revenue that, even though you have no liability to capital gains tax, you must file a return.

The full wording from the Guide to Capital Gains Tax is: “A return of all chargeable gains and allowable losses must be made or or before October 31st in the year following the year of disposal.”

Note that this is different to the dates for paying CGT, if liable – December 15th of a year for any gains up to the end of November and January 31st for gains made in December of the previous year. It is in line with the timing of income tax returns.

That’s hardly surprising as an income tax return (form 11 or form 12) is generally where people file details of disposals of assets under CGT rules. Those not liable to income tax returns should file a CG1 form.

“The obligation to make a return exists even ... where no tax is due because of the use of reliefs, losses etc,” the rules also state.

Please send your queries to Dominic Coyle, Q&A, The Irish Times, 24-28 Tara Street, Dublin 2, or by email to dcoyle@irishtimes.com. This column is a reader service and is not intended to replace professional advice

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