Changes to Entrepreneurs relief, now called Business Asset Disposal rate relief that could affect you
Over the last decade, Government has helped UK entrepreneurs flourish by offering Capital Gains Tax (CGT) reduction through Entrepreneurs Relief (ER). Capital gains are generated on sale of assets (business, property etc.), which are currently taxed at 20%. With ER, disposal of assets up to the value of £10 million was taxed at 10%. Since March 2020, the asset sale ceiling has been reduced to £1 million and all sale proceeds over this figure are taxed at 20% or higher.
In March 2020, the name of Entrepreneurs Relief was changed to Business Asset Disposal (BAD) rate relief. It is likely that the Business Asset Disposal rate relief will be completely abolished, and Capital Gains Tax raised to 40% in the next Budget, which has been postponed this autumn however the timing of the change remains uncertain due to the ongoing pandemic.
In July 2020, Chancellor Rishi Sunak asked the Office of Tax Simplification (OTS) to review the Capital Gains Tax and aspects of taxation of chargeable gains in relation to individuals and smaller businesses. His original letter can be found here and their full report, published in early Nov can be found here.
Below is an example of how the expected changes in March 2021 may impact the business:
In summary, on a sale of a practice with a turnover of £1.5 million, you could be losing out on £617.5 thousand by delaying the sale. For a practice with a turnover of £2.5 million, this figure increases to £962.5 thousand. These are not small amounts so considering the timing of your exit is very important.
Practice with this type of turnover is attractive to dental corporates who are still very active in the UK. The key to remember is that a corporate buyer will ask you to stay on for a certain period to help with the transfer of ‘goodwill’. This could tie you in for up to 5 years, so your retirement/exit planning needs to start a good few years before the date when you relinquish ownership and stop practising dentistry.
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