Loading…
Ambient _wave_ Buzzacott _top_20_accountancy _firm _for _charities _corporates _individuals
Read time: 6 minutes
Last updated: 18 May 2022
On this page

Is now the time for you to make lifetime gifts?

One of the main ways to reduce the Inheritance Tax (IHT) payable on death is to transfer assets during life to avoid them becoming part of the estate. In this article, we share the tax implications and the importance of timing when it comes to lifetime gifting. 

Assets retained by an individual on death can be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) at a rate of up 40%.  One straightforward IHT planning option that you can take is to gift assets to the younger generation during your lifetime. There are a number of IHT exemptions available, which can remove such gifts from the IHT net immediately, for example: the annual exemption, the small gifts exemption or gifts out of income.

About the author

Richard Pott

+44 (0)20 7556 1295
pottr@buzzacott.co.uk

Assets retained by an individual on death can be subject to Inheritance Tax (IHT) at a rate of up 40%.  One straightforward IHT planning option that you can take is to gift assets to the younger generation during your lifetime. There are a number of IHT exemptions available, which can remove such gifts from the IHT net immediately, for example: the annual exemption, the small gifts exemption or gifts out of income.

What are potentially exempt transfers (PETs)?

What are potentially exempt transfers (PETs)?

A gift between individuals which is not covered by an IHT exemption is known as a potentially exempt transfer (PET). PETs do not give rise to an upfront IHT charge but a charge can arise if you do not survive at least seven years after making the gift. A ‘failed’ PET which is not covered by the ‘nil-rate’ band (NRB of £325,000 and which does not qualify for an IHT relief or exemption will be taxed at 40%.  Should you survive for three or more years however, this tax rate is tapered for any transfers of value not covered by the NRB.

What Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is due on lifetime gifts?

What Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is due on lifetime gifts?

While gifts between you and another person may not give rise to immediate IHT charges, CGT may be chargeable on the transfer of non-cash assets. The CGT on gifts is typically calculated on the basis of the open market value of the gifted asset. Subject to the asset being transferred, the gain may be exempt or reliefs may be available to reduce the CGT charge. Where a gain arises, the CGT annual exemption - £12,570 for 2022/23 – may be offset against this to reduce the CGT charge. 

The importance of timing for lifetime gifts

The importance of timing for lifetime gifts 

While PETs may be a straightforward IHT mitigation mechanism, the rules can be complex and timing is important. For example, a gift of quoted shares during lifetime would give rise to both a CGT and a full IHT charge if the donor dies within three years of their gift. Had the shares been retained at death IHT would have been due but no CGT; in fact, the beneficiary would have received the shares with a CGT base cost uplift to the market value of the shares at the date of death.

Other key considerations

Other key considerations

COVID-19 and geopolitical considerations have caused significant uncertainty, which will continue to unsettle the stock market, property prices and the wider economy. Anyone who has been considering lifetime gifts might find the values of the assets in question are lower, which can reduce the quantum of IHT and CGT.

Values will be easy to establish for listed investments, but for other assets a valuation will be required. For valuations to be accepted by HMRC they would need to be accurate with robust evidence to support the valuation. Now, while the markets remain unpredictable and the quantum tax is lower, could be the perfect time to consider your estate planning options.

Get in touch
Get in touch

If you’re considering making lifetime gifts, we can look at the tax position before you take any action, either as a standalone transaction or as part of an overall estate planning review. Fill out the form below and one of our tax specialists will be in touch to discuss your requirements and how we can help.

Please complete all required fields above.
This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Close iconClose icon backback
Your search for "..."
did not yield any results.
... results for "..."
Search Tags