Taxpayers can make a negligible value claim when an asset they own has become of negligible value, i.e., is worthless or worth next to nothing. The taxpayer effectively treats the asset as having been disposed of and then immediately reacquired at the negligible value. The asset must still be owned by the person making the claim and must have become of negligible value whilst it was owned. Making a claim allows the owner of the asset to realise a capital loss in respect of an asset without having to dispose of it.
By making a negligible value claim, rather than selling an asset, the taxpayer retains ownership should the asset ever recover in value even if this is only a remote possibility. HMRC publishes a negligible value list which lists shares or securities formerly quoted on the London Stock Exchange that have been officially declared of negligible value for the purposes of making a claim. In other cases, an application should be made to HMRC to agree upon a valuation.
A negligible value claim can be backdated to an earlier time falling in the previous two tax years provided all the other qualifying conditions are met. HMRC’s guidance on making a claim has recently been updated. The date when shares can be declared as being worth a negligible value has been amended to 30 June 2021.