More than 31 million people pay tax on their income, raising ¬£180bn in 2017/18. By contrast, only 265,000 pay tax on capital gains – the profits they make when they sell assets such as shares or bonds. The first ¬£12,300 is exempt; and because you can control when you sell an asset and realise a gain, many – some 50,000 – can arrange their affairs so any gain they made comes just in under the threshold. And when they do pay capital gains tax, it’s at half the rate of income tax.


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