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Claiming for a historic Capital Loss

Capital Loss Nov 2008.... Capital Gain June 2019

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I'm not an accountant, but this forum has been helpful previously.

In 2008 I sold a property where I made a loss of £14,000. My accountant at the time said that there was nothing I could set it against, but it would be available indefinitely to set against any gains in the future. I no longer use the particular accountant, and have no official tax return paperwork to confirm that the loss was made, and that it was registered with HMRC. I dont really know how it works, but hope to be able to get up to date.

Before taking some advice, I like to have an idea of the answer, so I am wondering if a Capital Loss is actually reported to, and recorded by, HMRC at the time, or do I just get to use it when a gain arises, perhaps being required to prove entitlement at the time. The purchase price in 2005 and the selling price in 2008 are a matter of record, so it wont be too difficult to show the figures.

The reason I am asking now is that I made a small gain in June 2019 and, whilst the tax liability is only a few hundred pounds, it would be better in my pocket than in HMRCs, if possible.

Many Thanks


Replies (3)

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By Paul Crowley
12th Aug 2020 01:12

Ask the former accountant.
Accountant should have shown the loss carry forward on return and it would have been there on the tax return software up to the point of change.
Did you start preparing your own returns when accountant stopped preparing?

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By Tax Dragon
12th Aug 2020 07:10

To answer the question, the loss needs to have been reported within the relevant timeframe (once 6 years, now reduced to 4) to be available for offset now. If you had another accountant in between, they would have asked the previous accountant about this (hence Paul's question).

Try asking your most recent accountant, or ask HMRC. Or accept that sometimes not keeping records yourself can come with a cost.

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Replying to Tax Dragon:
By richard10002
12th Aug 2020 20:29

Tax Dragon wrote:

Try asking your most recent accountant, or ask HMRC. Or accept that sometimes not keeping records yourself can come with a cost.

I'll probably do all three in order :)

Thanks to both for the replies... I started doing my own returns in 2011/12 when I decided that saving a thousand pounds or so a year, in the climate at the time, was necessary. As you can imagine, I have all my records since then. I also buy a few hours of the accountants time every now and then when something outside my comfort zone crops up.

At the time of the loss and for some time before and after, I was very ill and didn't expect to make it, so keeping an eye on what my accounts were doing, and keeping on top of paperwork, was not top of my list of priorities. I have a vague recollection of discussing it,but I may be making that up.

It's entirely possible that I might have copies of the return in question somewhere in on or other pile of paper and, now I know what kind of thing I'm looking for, I can get busy. It's also possible, although probably unlikely, that the accountant may have kept the records. It certainly looks like you can't get copies of tax returns backdated over a decade on the SA website.

When it comes to asking HMRC, is it as simple as stating what I believe to be on a particular return, and asking if they can check if the loss is recorded, and available for use, or is it more complicated than that?

At the end of the day, if the loss is not available, it's not available, which was my starting point.

Thanks again for the help!

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