Lentells Limited

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IHT – Giving away your home before you die
23/11/2023

The majority of gifts made during a person's life, including gifting a home, are not subject to tax at the time of the gift. These lifetime transfers are known as 'potentially exempt transfers' or 'PETs'. These gifts or transfers achieve their potential of becoming exempt from Inheritance Tax (IHT) if the taxpayer survives for more than seven years after making the gift. There is a tapered relief available if the donor dies between three and seven years after the gift is made.

HMRC’s guidance suggests that if the person gifting the home wants to continue living in the property after giving it away, they need to:

  • pay rent to the new owner at the going rate (for similar local rental properties);
  • pay their share of the bills; and
  • live there for at least 7 years.

However, the rules are different if the person making the gift retains some 'enjoyment' of the gift made. This could apply if a person gave their home to their children but continued to live in the home rent-free. Under these circumstances, the taxman would contend that the gift falls under the heading of a gift with reservation of benefit and the 'gift' would remain subject to IHT even if the taxpayer dies more than 7 years after the transfer.


        

 
 

Chard Office

17-18 Leach Road 
Chard Business Park 
Chard
Somerset 
TA20 1FA

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01460 64441

Seaton Office

Kingsway
50 Fore Street
Seaton
Devon
EX12 2AD

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01297 20584

Taunton Office

Ash House, Cook Way
Bindon Road
Taunton
Somerset
TA2 6BJ

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01823 286274