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Taxation of Chargeable Gains Act 1992

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144Options and forfeited deposits

(1)Without prejudice to section 21, the grant of an option, and in particular—

(a)the grant of an option in a case where the grantor binds himself to sell what he does not own, and because the option is abandoned, never has occasion to own, and

(b)the grant of an option in a case where the grantor binds himself to buy what, because the option is abandoned, he does not acquire,

is the disposal of an asset (namely of the option), but subject to the following provisions of this section as to treating the grant of an option as part of a larger transaction.

(2)If an option is exercised, the grant of the option and the transaction entered into by the grantor in fulfilment of his obligations under the option shall be treated as a single transaction and accordingly—

(a)if the option binds the grantor to sell, the consideration for the option is part of the consideration for the sale, and

(b)if the option binds the grantor to buy, the consideration for the option shall be deducted from the cost of acquisition incurred by the grantor in buying in pursuance of his obligations under the option.

(3)The exercise of an option by the person for the time being entitled to exercise it shall not constitute the disposal of an asset by that person, but, if an option is exercised then the acquisition of the option (whether directly from the grantor or not) and the transaction entered into by the person exercising the option in exercise of his rights under the option shall be treated as a single transaction and accordingly—

(a)if the option binds the grantor to sell, the cost of acquiring the option shall be part of the cost of acquiring what is sold, and

(b)if the option binds the grantor to buy, the cost of the option shall be treated as a cost incidental to the disposal of what is bought by the grantor of the option.

(4)The abandonment of—

(a)a quoted option to subscribe for shares in a company, or

(b)a traded option or financial option, or

(c)an option to acquire assets exercisable by a person intending to use them, if acquired, for the purpose of a trade carried on by him,

shall constitute the disposal of an asset (namely of the option); but the abandonment of any other option by the person for the time being entitled to exercise it shall not constitute the disposal of an asset by that person.

(5)This section shall apply in relation to an option binding the grantor both to sell and to buy as if it were 2 separate options with half the consideration attributed to each.

(6)In this section references to an option include references to an option binding the grantor to grant a lease for a premium, or enter into any other transaction which is not a sale, and references to buying and selling in pursuance of an option shall be construed accordingly.

(7)This section shall apply in relation to a forfeited deposit of purchase money or other consideration money for a prospective purchase or other transaction which is abandoned as it applies in relation to the consideration for an option which binds the grantor to sell and which is not exercised.

(8)In subsection (4) above and sections 146 and 147—

(a)“quoted option” means an option which, at the time of the abandonment or other disposal, is quoted on a recognised stock exchange;

(b)“traded option” means an option which, at the time of the abandonment or other disposal, is quoted on a recognised stock exchange or a recognised futures exchange; and

(c)“financial option” means an option which is not a traded option, as defined in paragraph (b) above, but which, subject to subsection (9) below—

(i)relates to currency, shares, securities or an interest rate and is granted (otherwise than as agent) by a member of a recognised stock exchange, by an authorised person within the meaning of the [1986 c. 60.] Financial Services Act 1986 or by a listed institution within the meaning of section 43 of that Act; or

(ii)relates to shares or securities which are dealt in on a recognised stock exchange and is granted by a member of such an exchange, acting as agent; or

(iii)relates to currency, shares, securities or an interest rate and is granted to such an authorised person or institution as is referred to in sub-paragraph (i) above and concurrently and in association with an option falling within that sub-paragraph which is granted by that authorised person or institution to the grantor of the first-mentioned option; or

(iv)relates to shares or securities which are dealt in on a recognised stock exchange and is granted to a member of such an exchange, including such a member acting as agent.

(9)If the Treasury by order so provide, an option of a description specified in the order shall be taken to be within the definition of “financial option” in subsection (8)(c) above.

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