Understanding the Tax Implications of Selling Antiques

Ever caught yourself daydreaming about stumbling upon a dusty, hidden treasure tucked away in some secret corner of your home? Well, regardless of what sparked your journey here, it’s pretty clear that you’ve got a special antique in your possession, and the idea of passing it on to a new curator has crossed your mind. However, before you take that thrilling plunge, there’s a little matter that needs addressing: taxes. We’re here to give you a brief understanding about the taxes you will have to encounter while selling antiques.

What are Antiques?

Antiques are those classy items you have over 100 years old that add timeless charm. These treasures hold significant value and stand apart from typical decorations. Vintage pieces span 20-100 years, roughly from the 1900s to the 1960s, defining their era.



Antiques, relics of ancient civilizations, must be at least a century old. Vintage covers 1900s to 1960s, while retro spans 1960s to 1990s. Each era focuses on unique items. Consider vintage and retro clothing – still in vogue compared to antique styles. Paintings and antique furniture shine, surpassing their vintage and retro counterparts in appreciation.

What are Chattels?

Chattel, a term dating back to the 13th century, refers to personal property that’s tangible and movable. Think items you can touch and transport, like cars but not land. Chattels often encompass assets and antiques, such as jewelry and paintings, adding to their allure and value.

What’s a wasting Asset?

Distinguishing between a regular asset and a wasting asset is key. Wasting assets, like racehorses, vintage cars, and more, have shorter lifespans, bringing tax exemptions into play. These items, with an anticipated 50-year usefulness, and you can get a capital gains tax exemption.

Tax on Selling Antiques: Are Chattels and Antiques are Taxable?

Selling antiques or chattel isn’t exempt from taxes – it’s a taxable process. When you sell these items, you step into a realm where you’re responsible for capital gains tax on the profits you rake in.


Here’s the deal: if your antique or chattel fetches a price between £6,000 and £15,000 upon sale, brace yourself for taxation. Those profits fall under the tax radar. But if your earnings post-sale stay below that £6,000 mark, consider yourself in the clear – no tax dues here.


On the brighter side, HMRC offers a bit of reprieve when it comes to selling antiques and chattels. They’ve got something called the “five-thirds rule” that lends a hand in pinpointing the profits you’ve reaped from the sale. Alternatively, if calculations are more your style, you can slice through the complexity by deducting allowable expenses from your total profit. This precision-focused approach ensures you’re forking over the precise amount of tax that corresponds to your earnings. In the realm where history intersects with finance, knowing the ins and outs of taxes when selling antiques and chattels is like holding the key to a treasure trove. Remember, whether your profits dance within the taxable bracket or fall under the relief umbrella, a clear understanding and strategic planning can keep your tax journey as valuable as the pieces you’re parting with.


Have more questions? Book a consultation with one of our experts and we will be happy to help you.

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