This subject concerns all of us collectors. OK, perhaps a few plan to die with their collection or float off with it in a Viking funeral, but for most of us there will probably come a time when we decide that having some extra money is more important than some, or all, of our collection.
I have to fill in a tax return each year as I am self-employed (I live in the UK). Now and again I sell pieces, usually to buy others. What happens if, one day, I decide to sell up? I'd be likely to end up with a considerable sum. Must I include this in my tax return? I've had some items for 30+ years and no proof or record of what I paid for them in the first place, plus some things are unquantifiable, obtained in complicated deals. I've also sometimes sold things for less than I paid. Basically, it's impossible to average out actual profit, but even if I could, this has only ever been a hobby and totally independent of my main income.
We have all put time and effort, often a great deal of these, into learning about and finding the kit we like. That learning has cost us money, not to mention those cold, bleak early mornings driving to a boot sale or remote arms fair, usually to return emptyhanded. Would the taxman allow for this at an hourly rate? Something tells me probably not.
So - can HMRC hit us for capital gains on stuff we sell off? Does anyone here know the ins and outs of this, through either professional or painfully-acquired knowledge?