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Realised FX movements for non-GBP transfers

How do I deal with this for an individual?

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I have a client with quite a lot of cash in non-GBP accounts. 

This is an individual.

They have in the past tax year dabbled with some trading between the accounts, but its still "investment",

Eg USD to Euro, then to Yen, and back to USD, and some came back to the UK into GBP.  There is no foreign currency spending other than fees. 

 I dont think HMRC would accept this as a "trade" and an income tax issue (which is a shame due to current year losses and big gains in 2017/18)

I am aware FX gains/losses are taxable as CGT.

However are all trades "realised" (when moving between currencies) or just ones back to GBP?

Ie do I need to look at all the trades (converting back to GBP each time) or can I look at this as a "black box" and do a a/(a+b) type comp on the remaining pot? 

I seem to recall this changed about 5-10 years ago and struggling a bit so could do with a pointer as I feel I am looking up the wrong stuff and hitting dead ends when trying to research, but this must be all pretty standard stuff if you do it regularly. 


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By jcace
17th Dec 2018 22:37

Have a look at and the following pages.... they might help.

Thanks (0)
18th Dec 2018 09:40

Hi, thanks I got that far yesterday, but its where the accounts are translated into different currencies and back again when I am struggling.

It seems to be covered under TCGA 1992 251, and the exception under 252 but I am beyond the point of my comprehension of the context and need it put back in simple terms.

Thanks (0)
18th Dec 2018 13:04

Presumably this is not related to a (non-currency trading) trade.

Each translation is a disposal of currency A and an acquisition of currency B.

However, the change in 2012 means that simple bank accounts are not assets for CGT purposes.


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to Sperethiel
18th Dec 2018 16:56

Thanks for your help, but I I feel I am still missing something which must be obvious but its not clicking.

As a worked example:

Client has £100k GBP
Buys $ of $160k
Speculatively converts to Yen and back (but isn't trading) and now has $170k
Which in GBP is now worth £140k at the end of the year.

Is there a reportable transaction?

How about if the GBP is realised within the financial year, ie we are up £40k on the year?

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