Last updated on:
March 17, 2024

A chattel refers to any personal, physical possession or tangible good that can be moved from one location to another, such as a painting. This term encapsulates a wide range of movable personal property.

Examples of Chattels

Chattels can include a diverse array of items, typically those used for personal purposes. Examples encompass:

  • Jewelry
  • Clothing
  • Vehicles
  • Furniture
  • Machinery
  • Books
  • Collections of wine
  • Antiques
  • Crockery

Chattel vs. Asset

While chattels and assets might seem similar, key distinctions exist:

  • Nature: An asset is a resource with economic value that an individual, corporation, or country owns or controls with the expectation that it will provide future benefit. Assets encompass more than just physical items; they can also be intangible, such as Bitcoin.
  • Value: Chattels do not necessarily hold intrinsic value and are often used for personal enjoyment rather than investment. However, certain chattels can become highly valuable over time, potentially turning into significant assets if their market value increases.

Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on Chattels

Disposing of a chattel can potentially trigger Capital Gains Tax (CGT), depending on the profit made from the sale. CGT considerations come into play when the sale of a chattel yields a profit exceeding the allowable threshold set by tax regulations. For specific CGT rates and exemptions, it's recommended to consult official tax guidance or utilize a Capital Gains Tax calculator for estimates.

Is Money Considered a Chattel?

Although money shares characteristics with chattels, such as being tangible and movable, it does not fall under the chattel category. The primary reason is its role as a universal medium of exchange and a standard measure of economic value, distinguishing it from other types of personal or tangible property.


Chattels represent a broad category of movable personal property, distinct from assets in their use and potential value. While some chattels may evolve into valuable assets, not all chattels hold significant economic worth. Understanding the nuances between chattels, assets, and the implications for taxes like CGT is essential for personal and financial planning.

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