The only way that you can allocate rental income to your wife for tax purposes is if the property is owned jointly or by her solely. If it is owned in joint names, the rental income will be split on a 50:50 basis unless the property is actually owned in proportions other than 50:50 and you inform HMRC by completing a form 17. Your wife would pay less income tax than you whether she had 50% or 100% of the rental income.
As far as Capital Gains Tax is concerned, there are two rates for property gains, 18% and 28%. The rate or combination of rates that you pay is dependent on the level of your income in the tax year of disposal of the property. As a 40% taxpayer, you would pay CGT at 28%. There is the potential for saving CGT as your wife is not a taxpayer. However, whilst she would take a share of your original cost as her own if you put the property into joint names, she would not be entitled to reliefs such as main residence and letting relief which you may be depending on the history of your ownership of the property. Clearly, if the property has never been your main home, main residence and letting relief won't be relevant.
I hope this helps but let me know if you have any further questions.
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You either have an interest in the property or you don't. The form 17 says:
"You can use this form to declare a beneficial interest if you hold property jointly and:
• you actually own the property in unequal shares, and
• you are entitled to the income arising in proportion to those shares, and
• you want to be taxed on that basis.
If you own 1% of the property, you pay tax on 1% of the rental income, assuming you complete the form 17.
You can have a solicitor complete the paperwork for you or complete it yourself.
What rate of CGT you pay when you retire will be dependent on your income level and the tax rules in place at the time. As of now, you will be entitled to main residence relief and letting relief which will reduce your taxable gain (see Example 9 in HS283). If you transfer full ownership or part ownership to your wife, those reliefs will be lost unless the property is your main residence and the transfer is done whilst it is your main residence. See CG64950 here.
I'll get back to you on this.
If you sold the property in your own name, the gain would be £180,000. The exempt gain would be £69,000 (£180,000 / 30 years x 11.5 years). You are given the last 18 months as a tax free period regardless of whether you live there in that time or not. The taxable gain is £111,000 and you deduct the annual CGT exemption of £11,100 from that to leave a net taxable gain of £99,900 on which you would pay CGT of £27,972 (28%). At today's tax rates and assuming your income was less than £11,000, the personal allowance level, you would pay CGT at 18% on £32,000 and at £28% on £67,900. The CGT would be £24,772. For every £1 of income you have in excess of £11,000, the amount taxable at 18% would reduce by £1. I cannot see HMRC allowing letting relief.
You would lose £34,500 in main residence relief if you put the property into joint names on a 50:50 ownership basis. Your CGT would be £12,432 (£90,000 - £34,500 - £11,100 x 28%). Your wife would have a net taxable gain of £78,900 (£90,000 - £11,100) and pay £18,892 in CGT (£32,000 @ 18% + £46,900 @ 28%). Overall, you would pay about £3,352 in extra CGT between you.
Nobody knows what tax rules will be in place in the future so most people would go for the tax saving available now.
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