Capital gains tax revenue hit a new high of £8.8bn for the 2017-18 tax year, as 281,000 taxpayers paid a bill for selling valuables, new HMRC data reveals.
HMRC's revenue from capital gains tax (CGT) increased 14% compared with 2016-17, with payments from an additional 8,000 people.
The bulk of the bill was paid by high-earners, who made gains of £1m or more, though these individuals accounted for just 3% of all CGT taxpayers.
The latest figures confirm a recent trend towards more people paying bigger CGT bills - and changes on the horizon could see this accelerate.
With the number of people paying CGT on the rise, Which? explains how the tax works and how the rules will change in future.
You generally have to pay CGT if you sell a valuable asset for a profit, though you can use your £11,700 tax-free allowance first. Indeed, if you're in a couple, you can pool your allowances and earn £23,400 tax-free.
Higher- and additional-rate taxpayers have to pay 20% on assets and 28% on property.
You can deduct any costs involved with maintaining and selling the asset from your profit, reducing the amount of tax you'll have to pay.
What CGT changes are coming in 2020?
Here's what you need to prepare for:
CGT is waived for any periods you've lived in a second home or buy-to-let property. So, if you owned the house for 10 years, and lived in it for five, your CGT bill would be cut by 50%.
It's also currently possible to claim relief for the final 18 months that you owned the property, which is added to any other tax-exempt period.
From the 2020-21 tax year, however, this is being slashed to just nine months.
That said, anyone who's selling a property because they're moving into a care home, or who has a disability, will still be able to claim for the past 36 months of ownership.
Lettings relief can currently be claimed by landlords who are renting out a home they used to live in.
You can claim the lowest of:
However, from April 2020, lettings relief will only apply to landlords who live in the property with their tenants, meaning many landlords will no longer be able to claim it.
Both changes have come under fire, amid speculation that 'accidental landlords' - those who are forced to rent out their former homes due to work or family commitments - will be worst-hit.
Some of these owners may choose to sell up before 5 April, as sales completed before the end of 2019-20 will still be eligible for relief under the old rules. As a consequence, buy-to-let sales may speed up over coming months.
Figuring out what you owe can be very tricky, as different rates and allowances apply depending on what you sell, how much profit you've made, and whether you have losses from previous tax years that you can use against it.
Here's how to estimate your bill: