Capital Gains Tax

Introduction

You dispose of an asset when you:

  • Sell it
  • Give it as a gift
  • Exchange it
  • Get compensation or insurance for it

If you make a profit or gain when you dispose of an asset, you pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on the chargeable gain. The chargeable gain is usually the difference between the price you paid for the asset and the price you disposed of it for. You can deduct allowable expenses such as the cost of acquiring and disposing of the asset.

When you dispose of an asset, you must file a tax return for CGT by 31 October of the following year.

Although you may file your return the following year, you must pay the Capital Gains Tax in the same year as you dispose of the asset, unless the disposal is in December.

Capital gains that are exempt

Transfers of assets between spouses and civil partners are exempt from Capital Gains Tax.

Transfers of assets between spouses and civil partners who are separated are exempt from Capital Gains Tax if they are made under a Separation Agreement or a court order. Read more about tax and separation or divorce.

The transfer of a site from parent to child is exempt if it is to build the child's principal private residence. The land must be less than one acre and have a value of €500,000 or less.

There is no Capital Gains Tax on assets that are passed on death. The assets are treated as if the person who died got the assets at the same value they have on the date of death. If a personal representative disposes of the assets, they are responsible for any gains between the date of the person’s death and the date of disposal.

Principal Private Residence Relief

You may be exempt from CGT If you dispose of a property you own that you lived in as your only or main residence.

This relief may also apply if you dispose of a property that you provided for free to a widowed parent or incapacitated relative to use as their sole residence.

There are some restrictions to Principal Private Residence Relief, including that you can only claim the relief for:

  • The part of the house that you used as your home
  • The time you lived in the property, with some exceptions for work or health reasons
  • The value of the property as you currently use it, rather than for development potential

Revenue has more information and examples of Principal Private Residence Relief and restrictions.

Other exemptions

Other exemptions from Capital Gains Tax include gains from:

  • Betting, lotteries, sweepstakes and prize bonds
  • Bonuses payable under the National Instalments Savings Schemes
  • Government stocks
  • Certain life assurance policies
  • Moveable property, if the gain is €2,540 or less
  • Animals
  • Private motor cars

Property acquired between 7 December 2011 and 31 December 2014

If you dispose of land or buildings you acquired between 7 December 2011 and 31 December 2014, you can get relief from CGT in certain cases.

If the property is held for more than 7 years, relief will be given for the first 7 years.

If the property is held for less than 7 years but more than 4 years, and is disposed of after 1 January 2018, it is exempt from CGT.

For example, if the property was bought in January 2012 and sold in January 2022, the property would have been held for 10 years, so 7/10 of any gain will be relieved from CGT and 3/10 is taxable.

Revenue has further information on reliefs from Capital Gain Tax.

Rate and payment of Capital Gains Tax

The standard rate of Capital Gains Tax is 33% of the chargeable gain you make.

A rate of 40% can apply to the disposal of certain foreign life assurance policies and units in offshore funds.

For certain windfall gains the windfall gains rate of tax (pdf) is 80%.

Deductions

You can deduct allowable expenses from the chargeable gain, including:

  • Money you spent that adds value to the asset
  • Costs to acquire and dispose of the asset (for example solicitor fees)

You may also be able to deduct an allowable loss you made in the same tax year.

The first €1,270 of taxable gains in a tax year are exempt from CGT. If you are married or in a civil partnership, this exemption is available to each spouse or civil partner but is not transferable.

Capital Gains Tax can be more complex than the examples above. For this reason, you should get advice from Revenue.

Revenue provides further information on Capital Gains Tax.

When to pay CGT

The tax year is divided into two periods:

  • An 'initial period' from 1 January to 30 November
  • A 'later period' from 1 December to 31 December

For disposals in the initial period CGT payments are due by 15 December in the same tax year. CGT for disposals in the later period are due by 31 January in the following tax year.

For example, if you dispose of an asset in the period January to November 2021 you must pay the Capital Gains Tax due to Revenue before 15 December 2021. If you dispose of an asset in December 2021, the Capital Gains Tax will be due on 31 January 2022.

How to pay Capital Gains Tax

If you are registered for CGT, you must pay your CGT online using Revenue Online Service (ROS) or myAccount.

If you are not registered for CGT, you must register for CGT and then make a payment using ROS or myAccount.

You can register for CGT:

If you have been granted an exemption from the requirement to file online, you can send payment with CGT Payslip A (pdf) for the initial period or CGT Payslip B (pdf) for the later period.

How to file a tax return for capital gains

You must file a tax return on all disposals.

When you dispose of an asset, you must file a return by 31 October of the following year.

For example, if you dispose of an asset between 1 January and 30 November, payment is due by 15 December. Your return will be due by 31 October of the next year.

Though you may file your return the following year, you must pay the Capital Gains Tax in the same year as the disposal of the asset, unless you dispose of the asset in December.

If you assess yourself for tax purposes (self-assessment) you should make a tax return on Form 11 (pdf).

If you are a PAYE taxpayer you should make a return on Form 12 (pdf).

Trusts and Estates should make the return on Form 1 (pdf).

If you are not required to make an income tax return you must send a CG1 Form (pdf) to Revenue. See the CG1 form Helpsheet (pdf).

You can use ROS to file your Income Tax Return (Form 11), Form 1 or Form CT1. You can post the Form CG1 or Income Tax Return (Form 12) to your Revenue office.

Further information

For further information, see revenue.ie on Capital Gains Tax or contact Revenue.

Page edited: 21 September 2021