Passing on the property to children and spouses is a relatively common legal process. However, it becomes a bit tricky, especially when it comes to gifting property to children. There could be many reasons why you might want to transfer property to your children. Regardless of the reasons, we urge you to reach out to our experts, making the entire process much more straightforward and efficient.
Our expert solicitors will help you plan by giving you all the options and allowing you to consider how and when you want to transfer the property. We make sure you get the maximum benefit out of capital gains tax and inheritance tax relief.
What Are the Options for Transferring Property for Children?
Setting Up a Trust
Since a child under the age of 18 cannot take legal ownership of property, the parent can set up a bare trust or a formal trust to hold the said property until the child turns 18 years of age.
Inheritance on Death
You can also leave the property to your children in your Will, but you should consider the IHT liability that might incur. The trade-off could be between capital gains tax or inheritance tax. Before choosing this option, you should consider the value of your property and estate.
Transfer by Gifting
One of the most common methods of transferring property for children is by gifting. If you choose this option, it will reduce the inheritance tax after the death of the parent.
Property tax planning for a child is a complex process. It is always a good idea to consult legal experts who can help you achieve your tax goals, reduce your liabilities and help you achieve a positive outcome for all parties involved.
Can I buy property for a child under the age of 18?
‘Can a minor own property?’
It is one of the most frequently asked questions.
A child under the age of 18 cannot hold the legal title of a property. However, there are two ways in which the child can hold property – through a bare trust or a formal trust. Besides, when the parent gifts property to their minor children, pays property deposit, or funds mortgage payments, parental settlements legislation will be triggered.
Anyway, we suggest you reach out to expert solicitors for advice before undertaking property tax planning for child.
Can I gift a house to my son without paying taxes?
Whether you want to gift your house for property tax planning purposes depends on,
- The relationship with the person you gifted the property to
- Whether the home is your primary residence
For the gifts to be exempt from inheritance tax,
- The property should be below the nil band rate
- The property giver should survive more than 7 years after gifting
If you want to avoid capital gains property tax, gift your main home to your son.
- The house should have been your primary residence since the time you owned it.
- If you continue living there, you need to pay rent to your son.
If there is no mortgage on the house, your son won’t have to pay SDLT tax. Otherwise, they will be required to pay SDLT on the outstanding loan amount.
How do you buy property for your children?
Buying a property for your children can attract capital gains tax and SDLT. Moreover, you should also think about inheritance planning when you purchase a house for your children.
Here are a few options you can explore when buying property for your children.
- You can give financial gifts to your children. They can use the money to buy a property.
- You can provide a monetary loan to your children, provided your children agree to repay the loan.
- You can get a joint mortgage
- You can start a joint savings account (linked)
- You can buy property and transfer ownership to your children. But, think of the SDLT, inheritance tax and capital gains tax.
Regardless of the methods you choose, the idea is to provide a home for your children and minimize the property tax and payable fees.
How much can you gift a child tax free?
Contrary to gifting property that can attract tax, giving small amounts of money to your children is a tax-free option.
As a UK citizen, you have a personal allowance of £3000 per year to give your children. You should remember that this is the total amount you can gift your children, and you have to split this among your children.
You can give smaller amounts of £250 per year to as many people as you want. But this is not over and above the £3000 limit, and anything above £3000 will be taxed.
If you were to gift money over £3000, it would be considered for inheritance tax – if you pass away within 7 years of gifting. If you live for more than 7 years, this monetary gift won’t be considered for property tax.