Avoid CGT by adding spouse to deeds?

Avoid CGT by adding spouse to deeds?

9:12 AM, 5th February 2014, About 8 years ago 19

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My wife and I jointly own several BTL properties, but one is owned solely in her name in order to maximise tax relief by using her basic rate unearned income tax allowance.

We are proposing to sell one of our properties and my question is regarding changing ownership of the property which is in her name, into joint ownership, to take advantage of the two capital gains allowances. If we were to do this, would both our CGT allowances be usable against the capital gain which has arisen since the property was bought some fifteen or more years ago? Avoid CGT by adding spouse to deeds?




by Mark Alexander

16:54 PM, 12th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "The Seasoned Female Investor" at "12/11/2014 - 16:35":

I can only assume that you have asked the wrong question or that she has totally misunderstood.

Instructions via an accountant is what I originally recommended and I stand by that.

Tax planning of this nature is entirely legal I can assure you, but don't take my word for it, ask a qualified and fully insured tax planning specialist such as the one I linked to above.

by Mark Alexander

18:38 PM, 12th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "The Seasoned Female Investor" at "12/11/2014 - 16:35":

Important follow up point, conveyancers are rarely insured to provide tax advice. Nevertheless I would be shocked if Jill wasn't aware of such a popular tax strategy as this one, hence my comment regarding a possible misunderstanding.

by The Seasoned Female Investor

19:41 PM, 12th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Thanks Mark for your comments and imput, she was fully informed the intention was to add my husbands name to the property as suggested in the article at the point of sale. Perhaps I need to finds legal represenation that have carried out the process as suggested before. I will keep searching.

by Mark Alexander

20:49 PM, 12th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "The Seasoned Female Investor" at "12/11/2014 - 19:41":

My brother and his wife used this strategy only last month, I will find out which solicitors acted and post here as soon as I find out.

by Jason Holden

9:49 AM, 13th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Mark your advice is correct, as long as the transfer is a genuine gift but as already stated watch out for SDLT issues if you have a mortgage.

To be fair this will not be news to a solicitor and if it is use someone else!


by Neil Barlow FCCA ATT

10:36 AM, 13th November 2014, About 7 years ago

Hi Mark,

The existing CGT rules enable spouses to plan in advance and make transfers of assets (including property) from one to another at no-gain/no-loss for CGT purposes, before subsequently disposing of the asset. This allows another annual exemption against the gain and hopefully taxing some of it at the lower CGT rate of 18% if your spouse is a lower rate taxpayer in the tax year in which the disposal is made.

Although it is not illegal to transfer property in this way, we have come across occasions when the mortgage company have not allowed the transfer to take place. In these cases a declaration of trust has been used.

We would always recommend that the property is transferred into joint names at least a few months before it is put on the market (the longer the better). Transfers immediately prior to a sale could be looked at closely by the Revenue as they can challenge the transfer as being artificial and charge the tax on the spouse that did the transfer.


by Mark Alexander

8:07 AM, 21st November 2014, About 7 years ago

Thank you to both Jason Holder and Neil Barlow for confirming that my advice was correct.

I have had several heated email exchanges with Jill Wheeler at Leathes Prior recently. Clearly Jill was out of her depth, she has been great for simple buy/sell arrangements but this particular scenario was obviously too complex for her. There were two key issues as I see it:-

First off, Jill’s advice was wrong, plain and simple! This has subsequently been confirmed by two chartered tax advisers on this discussion thread,

What really annoyed me though was Jill’s lack of professional etiquette. Given that I had referred a potential client to her, if she disagreed with my advice she should have checked with me before suggesting that the strategy I had recommended was illegal.

Needless to say, I will not be recommending any further business to her.

I mentioned earlier into this discussion thread that I was hopeful of concluding a deal with an incredibly experienced firm of solicitors who perform several tax planning transactions of this nature on a regular basis. I am delighted to advise that at a meeting with them yesterday we have agreed in principle to a joint venture whereby they will provide complex as well as standard conveyancing services to Property118 members. We hope to launch a sister website (also to be incorporated within Property118) within the next month or so. Meanwhile I have given them one of my own deals to act upon today. Watch this space!

The following is one of my favourite quotes so far as tax case law goes. It is from the case of Inland Revenue Commissioners v The Duke of Westminster (1936 19 TC 490), which held .........

Every man is entitled, if he can, to order his affairs so that the tax attaching under the appropriate Acts is less than it otherwise would be.”

by Em R

19:29 PM, 12th April 2017, About 4 years ago

I appreciate this article is from 2014 but just wondering if you managed to partner with a legal advisor who does these types of transactions.

by Mark Alexander

19:40 PM, 12th April 2017, About 4 years ago

Reply to the comment left by "Em R" at "12/04/2017 - 19:29":

We now do these transactions in-house at Property118.

Email me mark@property118.com

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