Capital gains tax (CGT) is a tax assessed on the capital gain resulting from the sale of a particular asset, as per the Capital Gains Tax Act (Chapter 23:01), as amended (CGT Act or the Act). If the capital gain is not exempt, it is then taxed at the current tax rate.
The term “specified asset” is defined in section 2 of the CGT Act. It means the following:
immovable property or
any marketable security.
With effect from 1 January 2017 any right or title to property whether tangible or intangible that is registered or required to be registered in terms of:
(i) the Mines and Minerals Act (Chapter 21:05); or
(ii) the Patents Act(Chapter 26:03); or
(iii) the Trade Marks Act [Chapter 26:04]; or
(iv) the Industrial Designs Act (Chapter 26:02); or
(v) the Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (Chapter 26:05); or
(vi) the Brands Act (Chapter 19:05); or
(vii) the Geographical Indications Act [Chapter 26:06]; or
(viii) the Integrated Circuit Layout-Designs Act (Chapter 26:07).
This is the gain that is taxable to arrive at the CGT liability. According to section 8(1)(c) of the Act it means the amount remaining, after deducting from the capital amount of any person all the amounts allowed to be deducted from a capital amount under this Act.
In other words Capital Gain equals Gross Capital Amount less Exemptions less Allowable Deductions.
This is defined in section 8(1)(b) to mean the amount remaining of the gross capital amount of any person, after deducting therefrom any amounts exempt from capital gains tax.
Gross capital amount
According to section 8(1)(a) “gross capital amount” means the total amount received by or accrued to or in favour of a person or deemed to have been received by or to have accrued to or in favour of a person in any year of assessment from a source within Zimbabwe from the sale on or after the 1st August, 1981, of speciﬁed assets excluding any amount so received or accrued which is proved by the taxpayer to constitute “gross income” as deﬁned in subsection (1) of section 8 of the Taxes Act and includes any amount allowed to be deducted in terms of subsection (2) of section eleven which has been recovered or recouped.
Based on section 8(2) the following are some of the amounts included in gross capital amount:
Foreign receipt adjusted for exchange losses or gains.
Where a person disposes of a speciﬁed asset otherwise than by way of sale such disposal shall be deemed to be a sale.
Where a speciﬁed asset is expropriated and compensation is paid.
Where a speciﬁed asset is sold in execution of the order of a court, the amount for which it was sold shall be deemed to have accrued to the person
on whose behalf it was sold.
Where an amount accrues to a person by reason of the maturity or redemption of a speciﬁed asset.
Where a person transfers to another person his rights under a deed of sale in respect of the passing of ownership of the speciﬁed asset which is the subject of the deed of sale, he shall be deemed to have sold the speciﬁed asset to that other person for an amount equal to the whole amount received by or accruing to him as a result of the transfer.
Where a person transfers to another person his or her rights in a residential, commercial or industrial stand, whether or not the stand is serviced and whether or not his or her title to the stand is registered under the Deeds Registries Act [Chapter 20:05], he or she shall be deemed to have sold a speciﬁed asset to that other person for an amount equal to the whole amount received by or accruing to him or her as a result of the transfer.
Exemptions from capital gains tax
The following are some of the amounts exempt from CGT according to the Act: Section 16 (2) of the CGT Act
Where the ownership of any speciﬁed asset is transferred from a person to his or her spouse
Where a person transfers the ownership of a speciﬁed asset which is his principal private residence to his former spouse in compliance with an order of a court providing for the maintenance of the former spouse or dividing, apportioning or distributing the assets of the former spouses on or after the dissolution of their marriage.
Section 10 of the CGT Act
Amounts received or accrued on the realization or distribution by the executor of a deceased estate of a speciﬁed asset forming part of such estate.
Amounts received or accrued on the sale of any marketable security being any bond
or stock in respect of any loan to—
(i) the State or any company all the shares of which are owned by the State;
(ii) a local authority;
(iii) a statutory corporation.
Amounts received by or accruing to an employee from the sale or disposal of his shares or interest in an approved employee share ownership trust where such sale or disposal is to the trust.
Disposal of a principal private residence by an individual who is of or over age of 55 years.
Donation of housing units to a local authority.
Section 15(1)(b) of the CGT Act
The transfer is effected from one company to another under the same control, in the course of or in furtherance of a scheme of reconstruction of a group of companies or a merger or other business operation which, in the opinion of the commissioner, is of a similar nature;
Section 17 of the CGT Act
Section 17 of the CGT Act – transfer of business property used for the purpose of trade by an individual to a company under his / her control where such company will continue to use the property for the purpose of trade.
Deductions from capital amount
These are covered under section 11 of the CGT Act and will be covered in future.
Capital Gains Tax is encountered in many situations especially on the sale of immovable properties with or without title deeds and also on the disposal of shares.
Tax payers and practitioners should comply.
This simplified article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute the writer’s professional advice.
Godknows (GK) Hofisi, LLB(UNISA), B.Acc(UZ), Hons B.Compt (UNISA), CA(Z),
MBA(EBS, Heriot- Watt, UK) is the Managing Partner of Hofisi & Partners
Commercial Attorneys, chartered accountant, insolvency practitioner,
registered tax accountant and advises on deal and transactions. He writes in
his personal capacity. He can be contacted on +263 772 246 900 or
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