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July questions and answers

Newsletter issue - July 2019.

Q. If my husband and I give our house to my children but continue to live in it, will inheritance tax be chargeable on the property when we die?

A. The inheritance tax residence nil rate band (RNRB), which is currently being phased, is designed to help people in your position to pass on the family home to children or grand- children, tax-free after their death.

Broadly, where someone dies on or after 6 April 2017 and their estate is above the basic inheritance tax threshold (currently £325,000), the estate may be entitled to an additional threshold before any inheritance tax becomes due. The extra amount for 2019/20 is up to £150,000 and this will increase to £175,000 in 2020/21.

The additional threshold can be added to the basic inheritance tax threshold of £325,000 if the person and their estate meet the qualifying conditions. This means that from 2020/21, it should be possible for a married couple or civil partners, to pass on a family home worth up to £1 million to their direct descendants.

The amount of the additional threshold due for an estate will be the lower of:

  • the value of the home, or share that direct descendants inherit
  • the maximum additional threshold available for the estate when the person died

HMRC's guidance Inheritance tax: additional threshold (RNRB) provides further information. Always seek professional advice before entering into any arrangement where the main purpose, or one of the main purposes, is to obtain a tax advantage.

Q. My child's school is asking parents to make a one-off donation to help with much-needed school funds. If I complete a gift aid form for my donation, will I be able to claim tax back on the payment?

A. If the school is a registered charity, either registered with the Charity Commission or with HMRC, you can make gift aid payments to them - both regular and one-off payments.

Under gift aid your donation is treated as being made net of basic rate tax (at 20%) and the charity claims the tax back from the government. So, if you make a donation of £100 under the Gift Aid scheme and you're a basic rate taxpayer, the charity is able to claim back tax of £25 from the government, which means the charity receives £125, but it costs you only £100. A higher rate taxpayer can claim 20% (the difference between the higher rate of tax at 40% cent and the basic rate of tax at 20%) as a tax deduction on the total value to the charity of the donation. So, on a gift of £100, a higher rate taxpayer can reclaim £25 (20% of the gross donation of £125). The claim is usually made via the individual's self-assessment tax return.

Q. I borrowed some money from my company to lend to my brother. He is paying it back in monthly instalments over three years. I am the sole director and shareholder of the company and I am not charging my bother interest on the loan. Are there any tax implications I need to consider?

A. The tax implications for the company are that the loan is deemed to have been made to an associate of a participator in the company, and as such, it will be caught by what are commonly referred to as the 'section 455 rules'. Broadly, these rules mean that the company will have to pay tax at 32.5% on the amount of the loan outstanding nine months after the accounting year end of the company. When the loan has subsequently been repaid to the company, HMRC will refund the tax paid.

There is an exception to this, namely where a loan does not exceed £15,000, but only when the shareholder does not own more than 5% of the shares.

If an employee of a relative of an employee receives an interest-free loan from an employer, this will be a benefit-in-kind for the employee. Interest at the 'official rate' (currently 2.5%) is calculated, and this deemed interest is subject to tax. However, there are exceptions to this tax charge where:

  • the loan is a 'qualifying loan';
  • a qualifying or non-qualifying loan is less than £10,000; and
  • the employee can show that they received no benefit from the loan to the relative.

 

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