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What is Top-Slicing?

Top-slicing relief was introduced by HMRC as a fair way of calculating a gain that had built up over a number of years without it having a huge impact on an individuals rate of tax.

What is top-slicing?

Top slicing can be applied where the gain pushes a basic rate taxpayer into the higher rate bracket. If, after adding the slice to a clients other taxable income, they remain within the basic rate tier, then the whole gain would be subject to income tax at 20% (for the 2016/2017 tax year).


If a client is already a higher rate taxpayer, then top slicing will have no effect as higher rate tax would be paid on the whole of the gain.


You can find an example of Top-Slicing Relief in our Taxation of Offshore Bonds Guide.