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Do you know when NOT to pay Capital Gains Tax?

by , 08 April 2013
Kenyan property owners are 'set for another round of pain starting in the next financial year if the taxman heeds advice from the Parliamentary Budget Office,' warns The Star in Kenya. Why? Well, the latter has recommended that the Kenya Revenue Authority considers levying tax on income gained from appreciated property values. That's normal in South Africa where Capital Gains Tax (CGT) has been applicable to property sales for years. It's also applicable on investments, the sale of your company, a holiday home and much more. But, what most people don't realise is there are actually instances where you DON'T have to pay CGT. Let's look at them...

Kenyan investors and property owners have been lucky. The country abolished capital gains tax in 1985 to encourage investments in real estate and securities, reports Kenya's The Star.

But that's could all change…
'Since then the real estate the real estate and securities market have grown tremendously,' the PBO states, citing HassConsult's property indices for quarter three 2009 and quarter four 2012,' the article continues. And government wants a chunk of that growth.

That's why it's proposing to reinstate CGT for property owners in the next financial year.

If the move is approved, Kenya will join the rest of us in having to pay CGT when you selling an asset like a house.

But did you know that there are some situations where you don't have to pay CGT? Here they are…

Three situations where you can sell an asset WITHOUT paying CGT

SARS believes that it's not fair for you to pay capital gains tax on the disposal of your asset if you're not getting instant financial gain.

In these cases your 'capital gains tax consequences are rolled-over and the asset will be transferred on a tax-free basis. Roll-over is a method for deferring a capital gain or loss' explains Capital Gains Tax 101: Your ultimate guide to slashing Capital Gains Tax.

When is roll-over relief applicable?

In these three instances:

1. Consequences of stolen, lost or destroyed assets:

As long as you meet the following four requirements says the Guide, you won't have to pay capital gains tax on stolen, lost or destroyed assets:

  1. The amount you receive mustn't be less than the base cost of the asset;
  2. You must spend the full amount you receive on a replacement asset;
  3. You must buy the replacement asset within 12 months from when the original asset was lost, stolen or destroyed (and and not from the date you receive your compensation!); and
  4. You must bring the replacement asset into use within three years of the disposal of your stolen, lost destroyed asset.

2. Capital gains tax implications on voluntary disposals:

'If you dispose of a depreciable asset and invest in a replacement asset, the capital gain is deferred over the same tax depreciation period (at the relevant rate and amount) as the replacement asset,' explains the Guide.

3. Tax-free transfers of assets between spouses:

Because you only have to account for the capital gain/loss when the asset is transferred to a third party, 'transactions between spouses are also tax-free,' says the Guide. To ensure your assets is CGT free, simply roll-over the base cost of the transferred asset to your spouse.

So there you have it – by knowing when you won't have to pay CGT on your assets, you'll be able to keep some of your money out of the taxman's hands.

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