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Know Your Gains: A Guide to Understanding Capital Gains Tax

Capital Gains Tax


Tax is a fact of life. It regulates the revenue that businesses, organizations, and individuals generate and gives structure to the way we trade and exchange various assets, values, and bonds.

However, one form of tax that people often struggle to understand is capital gains tax (CGT). 

Read on to learn more about what capital gains tax is, what capital gains are in general, and the various ways in which they can be surprisingly financially advantageous. 


What Are Capital Gains?

Capital gains refer to the profit a person or business can make when selling an asset that exceeds its base cost. That asset could be anything from real estate, to a boat, to bonds. 

For example: say you bought an apartment for $1 million. A few years later, you sell it for $1.2 million. That extra $200,000 is your capital gain. You can make capital gains from a wide variety of assets, including: 

  • Real estate
  • Property
  • Furniture
  • Vehicles and boats
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Precious metals
  • Fine art


One of the few investments that you cannot make capital gains on is currency in sterling, which is not a chargeable asset. This is important to note if you are an investor or plan to invest with currency-based assets such as silver sterling. It’s also a good idea to know all about capital gains tax if you use cryptocurrency, as you will be taxed for sales, trades, and purchases. 


What Is Capital Gain Tax?  

Capital gains tax is the tax you need to pay in the event of making capital gains on an asset. For instance, if you invested in real estate and then decided to sell it, any profit you gained from the resell would be liable for capital gains tax.

But capital gains tax is any tax that can be applied to the sale of a non-inventory asset. People pay capital gains tax at the end of the year when they pay other kinds of tax, making it a fairly straightforward process as long as your financial records are all in order. 

Capital gains tax forms a part of greater income tax and is based on sliding tax tables for individuals and businesses. In addition to paying capital gains tax at the end of the fiscal year, some people may be required to pay it at the time their asset is sold for profit.

This kind of tax is important for governmental and financial processes because it puts a limit on the amount of tax gained through asset turnovers.

Without capital gains tax, wealth accumulation can become even more disproportionate to society. By taxing profit itself, there is a limitation on how much wealth can be gained through flipping standardized assets like property, precious metals, stocks, and real estate.


The Benefits And Advantages Of Capital Gains Tax

Paying capital gains tax isn’t optional, it’s a mandatory aspect of tax-paying set by the government. But even though paying taxes for making a profit might sound like a disadvantage, there are some surprising benefits to making sure your capital gains taxes are in order.

From a legal perspective, paying capital gains tax helps you to avoid running into legal trouble and keeps your financial records clear. 

It indicates that you are a law-abiding taxpayer who’s willing to play your part in the greater taxation system, which makes you a more attractive candidate for bank loans, future investments, and even job opportunities.

Let’s take a look at the other main benefits:


  1. More diversified efficient investment environment 

As an investor, paying capital gains tax is part of the package. And the bigger your investments become, the more tax you are likely to pay, but this is symptomatic of diversifying and expanding your investment portfolio.

The more investments you make, the more financial opportunities can arise, giving you a more comprehensive and impressive portfolio to trade with. This can make you a more powerful investor and open you up to investment opportunities that advance your career.


 2. Reduced deadweight losses


When used in the right way, capital gains tax can offset losses. Losses on investments are generally first used to offset capital gains of the same type, so when you make a big investment, short term losses are the first to be deducted from short term gains.

The same goes for long term losses and gains. Net losses of both varieties can then be deducted against the other type of gain, making capital gains taxes a reliable way to reduce your deadweight losses, especially for investor careerists.


 3. Reduced administrative costs


Capital gains taxes form a part of the greater tax and financial law system. Without them, you could find yourself in all sorts of legal and administrative trouble. And that kind of administration costs money. Therefore, paying capital gains tax can potentially save you admin costs.


 4. Greater investment in riskier projects


When you’re paying capital gains taxes, you have the opportunity to invest in slightly more ambitious or risky projects. 

Risky investments aren’t for everyone, but for investors with an appetite for uncapped profit, they can be highly advantageous. Using capital gains tax as a benchmark for flipping big assets keeps your trade value consistent and helps you make more intuitive investment decisions.



Learning more about capital gains and capital gains tax is crucial for anyone who wants to invest in stocks, bonds, real estate, art, or any other asset. Whether you are a seasoned investor with a diverse portfolio or a first-time investor, just looking for advice on how to navigate taxes, understanding how capital gains taxes work is essential. 

The more you know about capital gains taxes, the easier it will be to make a profit on your assets and avoid draining your resources on financial administration fees. Plus, you’ll stay on the right side of the law and avoid incurring any penalties.

In addition to less admin, understanding capital gains tax can make you a more efficient investor, reduce your deadweight losses, and diversify your investment portfolio, risks and all.