What is a Windfall Tax? A Complete Guide To The UK’s New Capital Gains Tax

What is a Windfall Tax

Do you know what a windfall tax is? This can be a difficult term to define, with so many different meanings. Some people might use the word “windfall” to refer to something that just happened for no reason- like an unexpected wage increase or a sudden dividend. Others might think of “windfall” as a financial gain that happens because of an unexpected event – like when a company goes bankrupt and shareholders are able to buy shares at a lower price than they were before.


A windfall tax is a tax levied on an unexpected increase in an individual’s income or wealth. The term typically refers to a capital gains tax, which is a tax on the profits of (usually) investments made in stocks, bonds, and other securities. A windfall tax can also refer to any type of income or wealth tax that is higher than expected, due to an event such as a stock market crash or a natural disaster.

The UK has implemented a new capital gains tax, called the Capital Gains Tax (CGT), which came into effect on April 6, 2013. The CGT is a progressive tax that applies a 20% rate to the first £11,100 (€13,000) of taxable capital gains each year, and then applies a 40% rate on any additional gains. The CGT is currently set at 20% for individuals and 25% for trusts and companies.

Windfall Tax

The purpose of the CGT is to discourage excessive speculation in asset prices and to ensure that wealthier individuals and businesses pay their taxes. Critics argue that the CGT will have little impact on economic activity because most taxpayers will be able to deduct their CGT payments from their income before paying national insurance contributions.

The CGT reform was announced in the Budget on 8 February 2013 and will apply to both existing and new properties from 6 April 2013. The government estimated that the change would raise an additional £1.8bn per annum by 2019/20, which would be used to reduce tax credits.

Property owners have been granted a grace period of three months after 6 April to ensure that they have time to register their property with HMRC before the deadline on 27 July 2013.In addition, the government announced that it would abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers of homes under £250,000 and that it plans to launch a Help-to-Buy scheme within 12 months of this measure coming into force.

What is a Windfall Tax?

A windfall tax is a tax levied on unexpected or unanticipated income, such as capital gains or dividends. Windfall taxes are popular in countries with high income inequality, as they are seen as a way to reduce the benefits of high income earners without harming the overall economy.

In the UK, the new capital gains tax (CGT) was introduced in April 2017 as part of the government’s plan to raise £52 billion over the next five years. The CGT is a 20% tax on the gain (or increase) in value of property, shares and other assets that an individual acquires after 6 April 2017 and before 7 January 2020. The main purpose of the CGT is to help to fund public services.

What is a Windfall Tax

There are a few things you need to know if you are liable to pay the CGT:

The CGT applies only to individuals – not companies or trusts – and applies even if you do not actually sell or exchange your assets for cash.

You can exclude some types of property from the scope of the CGT – for example, residential property worth less than £250,000 (£450,000 for married couples), personal possessions worth less than £ 300,000 (£450,000 for married couples), shares and investments worth less than £300,000 (£450,000 for married couples).

Properties are automatically excluded if they are used as your main home. -You can’t make a claim to get out of paying the CGT if you have already made a claim under another part of the CGT code (like section 177 claims) or made an election under section 175.

The UK’s New Capital Gains Tax

A windfall tax is a type of tax levied on an unexpected or undeserved gain, such as a capital gain. In the UK, a new capital gains tax (CGT) was introduced in April 2017. This new tax applies to any increase in the value of an asset (including property and shares) that you acquired after 6 April 2017 and before 1 January 2020.

What is a Windfall Tax - The UK's New Capital Gains Tax

The main features of the CGT are as follows:

  • The CGT applies to both individuals and businesses
  • The CGT rate is 20% (for assets up to £11 million), 40% (for assets over £11 million) and 50% (for assets over £123 million)
  • The CGT must be paid on the gain arising from the disposal of an asset, regardless of when the asset was purchased
  • There is a reduced rate of 10% for assets used in business activities

If you are affected by the CGT, it is important that you understand your rights and obligations. Our team can help you deal with any issues that may arise. Contact us today to find out more.

How the Capital Gains Tax Works?

If you have made money in the past year through selling assets such as shares, property or a business, you may be liable for the new UK Capital Gains Tax (CGT). The CGT is a tax on profits from the sale of assets that have been held for at least 12 months. There are some exceptions to this rule, but generally the CGT will apply if your total profits from the sale of assets exceed £11,850.

How the Capital Gains Tax Works

The CGT is calculated as your overall profit (after taking into account any expenses incurred), divided by the value of the assets sold. So if you sell an asset worth £10,000 and make a profit of £1,000, your CGT payable would be 20% (£1,200). If you sell an asset worth £100,000 and make a profit of £10,000, your CGT payable would be 400% (£4,000).

There are a number of ways to reduce or avoid the impact of the CGT. For example, you can offset profits from previous years against current year’s income. You can also claim relief on certain types of expenditure such as mortgage interest or charitable donations. 


If you have recently made a significant windfall, there are a few things you should know. The new UK capital gains tax (CGT) will apply to any profits that you make on assets that have increased in value by more than the amount of your original investment – this includes property, shares and investments such as bonds.

You will also need to pay income tax on any gains from these assets, which could result in a significant bill if your annual earnings exceed £11,850. In order to minimise the potential impact of this new tax, it is important to understand how it works and what you need to do to prepare for its arrival. This guide provides an overview of the CGT and explains what steps you can take to ensure that your profits are taxed fairly.