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Property Capital Gains Tax. My father lives in Eastbourne

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Property Capital Gains Tax. My father lives in Eastbourne and wants to give the old family home in Sc**thorpe to me and my brother. He owns both houses, no mortgages. We’re looking to sell but minimise costs in particular Capital Gains Tax.
In 1967 my parents bought the family home in Sc**thorpe England for around £4,000. We lived there until my brother and I flew the nest during the 1980s. My mother died in 1989. From around 1991 my father rented out the Sc**thorpe family home and moved in with me and my then wife. Around 1994 he retired buying and moving into his new home in Eastbourne where he is now. Current value is about £150,000. At 84 years my father no longer has the energy to deal with letting the Sc**thorpe house, even with our help. This house is worth about £110,000 and has been empty since March. It will soon be attracting ongoing cost such as Council tax etc.
We’ve never had Capitals Gains before. We each live moderately and debt free. My Dad pays a little tax at 20% on his pensions of, totalling, I’m guessing £18,000pa? My brother and I’s income is less than the £11,600pa income tax threshold. It’s not looking like Care Home costs or Inheritance tax will be a problem, we hope!
We’re looking for an idea of the tax situation if he were to sell the house then give the proceeds to me and my brother? We’re not desperate to have the money now especially.
If the CGT looks bad, how can we minimise it? Should we buy the house from him piecemeal over a few tax years utilising his annual CGT allowances? Use a trust? Use a limited company? Sell then gift to us regardless?
Steven Neilson.

Hello, Steven, I am Keith, one of the experts on Just Answer, and pleased to be able to help you with your question.

England has no gifts tax regime so the property would come to you tax free. However, It would create a Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET) in the donor's Inheritance Tax (IHT) affairs. PETs run off at a taper over seven years and in the event of the donor's decease within that period are added back to his estate for IHT purposes. IHT kicks in at 325K, but progressively from 2017 to 2020 for a house left to children only will rise to 1 million. When added back the PET is the first to suffer IHT and in the event of the deceased's estate being insufficient to meet the tax the liability cascades down to the beneficiaries for immediate payment.

However the gift to would be a disposal for Capital Gains Tax (CGT) purposes. Only part of the time not occupied by him would be exposed to the tax. This is actually calculated in months. Total ownership time is say 50 years. Rental period is say 23 years less the last 18 months when one is deemed to be in residence even if this is not the case, so 21.5 years. 21.5 / 50 = 43%. The gain is 110K - 4K = 106K @ 43% = say 46K. Now deduct his non cumulative Annual Exempt Amount (AEA) of 11.1K and Lettings Relief (LR) up to 40K relieves the gain completely so although there is a latent liability there will actually be no CGT payable. Of course these figures may alter slightly when the real months are substituted for my very rough and ready twist of the spoon to stop the treacle running off so to speak by using years, but if there is nay tax it will be minimal.

Thus you or he do not have a problem and you can forget all the need to minimising CGT. The only danger is the PET on the gift. The classic defence is a reducing term life insurance policy, but having regard to your father's age premiums may be prohibitive and in any event with the revised levels of exemption his estate may not be caught anyway.

I do hope that you have found my reply of assistance and that I have helped clear the air in this matter.

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Thank you for your excellent support.