In January 2008 I formed C Ltd with my wife, we were both directors and held 50% of the shares each. In March 2010 we split up, her shares were transferred to me and she also resigned as a director. C Ltd ceased trading in July 2010, and it will be wound up informally. Can I claim entrepreneurs’ relief on the whole of the capital distribution paid to me on the winding-up, or will just part of the distribution qualify because I only held 100% of the shares for the last 4 months that C Ltd traded?
You qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief on gains arising from all your shares in C Ltd, as you held at least 5% of the ordinary shares for 1 year up to the date the company ceased trading, and you were also a director of C Ltd throughout the last year of trading. Therefore any shares you held in C Ltd qualify for entrepreneurs’ relief, and you will pay capital gains tax at 10% on the capital distribution (after deduction of your annual exemption of £10,100), rather than a tax at 28% or 18%.