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Benefit from your losses - declare them - This is Money


The following article about timetotrade was written by Philip Scott and published by This is Money on 9 September 2008. Thank you Philip and This is Money!



Thousands of investors who lost money on the stock market in the last tax year should formally declare their hit so that they can reduce prospective tax bills in the future.

Since the credit crunch took hold in August 2007, global stock markets have taken a severe hit leaving thousands enduring harsh losses – the 2007/08 tax year saw some £200bn wiped off the value of the FTSE 100 index alone.

But investors should look to gain from these investment capital losses in advance of the October 31 2008 tax return deadline by formally declaring them to HM Revenue & Customs, so that they can be offset against capital gains made in the future.

Dary McGovern MD of investor group Timetotrade says: 'The market has played a tough hand to investors this year, so it makes precious sense for them to consolidate losses they have made and bank them for when sunnier times return.'

As the self assessment deadline approaches, the market collapse over the last year has forced many investors to weigh up their capital losses rather than gains.

But anyone skilled or lucky enough to have made capital gains above £9,600, during this period is required to declare those gains to the Revenue.

But those investors who are sitting on an overall capital loss after the market meltdown should also be looking to file their Capital Gains Tax SA108 return in order to notify HMRC and formally claim their losses.

Once reported to the Revenue, these losses can be carried forward indefinitely and used to offset against gains at any time in the future, to help reduce prospective tax bills.

Since 1996-1997, it has been necessary for investors to formally declare losses to HMRC if they wish to use them to offset against future gains. The losses need to be reported to HMRC within five years after the January 31 following the end of the tax year in which the loss arose – therefore there is still time for investors to claim losses going back as far as 2002–2003.





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