Can I give my house to my sibling without inheritance tax?
Posted on 7th February 2020
Further to our local solicitors for Wills’ blog in October 2018 about the Civil Partnership Act 2004 (Amendment) (Sibling Couples), a new inheritance-tax saving scheme has been proposed, which would help siblings (or half-siblings) to potentially avoid inheritance tax.
The new bill proposes amendments to the Inheritance Tax Act 1984, exempting transfer of property (i.e. cash, or other assets, such as a house) between siblings from attracting inheritance tax, in some circumstances. For example, if – on the death of the first sibling – they left their whole estate to the surviving sibling (having, for example, lived together in the same household for at least 7 years – continuously – and the surviving sibling is over the age of 30).
The bill has been introduced, like the previous proposed amendments in 2018, by Lord Lexden, as part of a campaign for siblings to be treated fairly by the UK tax system.
Under current laws, if siblings co-habit, owning their property jointly, on the death of the first sibling, the surviving sibling could be landed with a large inheritance tax bill, which could mean they have to sell their property to be able to pay this.
However, under the new proposals, the siblings would be treated as though they were a married couple, or in a civil partnership, so no tax would be payable on the first death. At the moment, the option of entering into a civil partnership, for tax reasons, is not available for siblings.
As only the first reading of the bill has been completed, the bill will now have to be debated in both Houses (the House of Lords and the House of Commons), before it can become law. You can read about the full progress of the bill on www.parliament.uk, here.
MG Legal – Your Local Solicitors
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