Company buy back of shares as an alternative exit:
Another potential exit for shareholders would be for the company to buy back their shares. This would normally be taxed on the shareholder as a dividend unless certain conditions are satisfied resulting in the payment being taxed as a capital gain.
Clearly CGT treatment is preferable as the rate could be just 10% compared to up to 38.1% on dividends.
Consequently, HMRC need to be satisfied that the share buy-back benefits the company’s trade, and a large cash payment may be difficult to justify if that depletes cash flow. With careful planning it may be possible to stage the buy back over a number of years, but it is recommended that you get advance clearance from HMRC to confirm capital treatment.
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