In the 1980s and 1990s a wide range of companies were privatised and gave many people a few shares which produce very small annual dividends. They can be seen are more trouble than they are worth, so what can be done with them?

The shares could be sold but you will need a broker and find all the paperwork. Or you could give the shares to charity which accept shares as gifts and will handle the paperwork on your behalf. This could benefit both you and the charity and the transaction is exempt from capital gains tax and you could earn some income tax relief.

Gifts of any of the following types of share or investment qualify for tax relief:

  • Shares or securities listed on a recognised stock exchange;

  • Shares or securities dealt on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) of the London Stock Exchange and the PLUS-Quoted Market of PLUS Markets;

  • Units in an authorised unit trust;

  • Shares in an open-ended investment company or their overseas equivalent.

You can claim a deduction from your taxable income equal to the value of the shares, etc., when you acquire them, less anything you receive in return from the charity. You can claim the deduction on your self-assessment tax return or, if you are not required to complete one, by writing to HMRC.

ShareGift is an organisation which accepts shares and converts them into cash gifts for charities. It handles all the paperwork and does not affect the tax relief, which you can claim in the same way.

For more information click here: http://www.sharegift.org/ or contact Vincent & Co on 01803 500500