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To gift or not to gift?

Offering or accepting chattels and personal property may seem straightforward, but it involves careful planning, says Lucy Brennan

12 August 2013

Under the current tax regime, gifts of assets do not necessarily get reported until a death occurs. How do you know that effective gifts for inheritance tax (IHT) purposes have been made that will stand up to HMRC scrutiny?

It may seem simple when considering transferring chattels and personal property (property) to offer and accept them as a gift. However, without careful planning, the donor could inadvertently retain a benefit of the property gifted. This would result in it being included in the donor's estate for IHT purposes, possibly what the donor was trying to avoid in the first place. It is important to identify the property as a legal gift.

The gift with reservation of benefit (GWR) legislation applies if the

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