I want to gift my property to my children but I need to keep living in my home. I would also consider gifting some investment property, but would still need to receive the rental income. Is it possible to do this without a massive tax bill? Would I need to set up a trust?
This is worth considering when your total estate exceeds the current Inheritance Tax allowances, either for you individually or the joint combined allowance with your spouse.
This sort of long-term tax saving strategy needs very careful consideration and planning with expert help – it is not as simple as it at first may seem.
First, once you have made the gift you cannot change your mind – you cannot go back.
Reservation of Benefit rules introduced a few years ago mean that if you gift your residence and continue to receive the benefit of the asset by living in it, then you will be taxed. An alternative is to pay your children a market rent whilst you enjoy the benefit. This however, could have the effect of creating a tax issue for your children.
An alternative would be to gift the property and live with your children or rent elsewhere.
Setting up a trust can work but can be incredibly complicated and expensive. Also, as the Treasurey becomes more and more persistent in closing inheritance and other tax loopholes, these expensive measures can become ineffective over time.
Also, you should bear in mind that gifts of assets such as property can be clawed back by a local council were you to be placed in a council run nursing home at some point in the future.
In the case of investment property, you cannot gift the asset and still enjoy the income yourself.
Before you make any moves, consult an experienced taxation or trust specialist accountant, or a good property or probate solicitor.
©LandlordZONE All Rights Reserved – never rely totally on these standard answers which apply primarily to England & Wales. Before taking action or not, always do your own research and/or seek professional advice with the full facts of the case and all documents to hand.