11 August 2011 by

Smart Art

The Treasury is proposing a new tax relief on lifetime gifts to the nation of “pre-eminent objects and works of art”.

The idea is very similar to the current inheritance tax relief available for heritage property. This is where HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) will accept a work of art or a historical object in part payment of the inheritance tax due on the deceased’s estate.

So what do HMRC accept as heritage property? Their website states that, “for property other than land or buildings, the key test is whether the property would make a significant or important addition to a national, local or university collection or whether it is significant in association with a particular building.”

The current relief means that on death your estate can offer to pay some or all of the inheritance tax due by transferring heritage property to the Crown. The rules are complex, and each item is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

The new proposed relief deals with gifts made during the lifetime of the donor rather than on death.

Although there is not yet a set level of relief for the proposed new tax relief, a figure of 25% of the asset’s value has been suggested. The gift would also have the added benefit of being free from capital gains tax and inheritance tax.

The main difference between the current system and the new proposed relief is that that land and buildings cannot be donated under the new scheme where as they can under the current scheme.

If you have any questions on Heritage Property please contact the Wealth and Estate Planning Team.

11 July 2011 by

Charitable Trusts Change of Trustees

A trust can last a long time, often at least five or six generations. Charitable trusts are not subject to rules against existing in perpetuity and may last significantly longer. Throughout the lifetime of a trust therefore there will almost certainly be changes in the makeup of the trustees as existing ones retire and new ones are appointed.

5 August 2011 by

And so now for a little light relief……

As all landlords and tenants will know, business rates are payable not only for occupied properties but also for empty or vacant properties (subject to exceptions).The person liable to pay rates on an empty property is the "property owner".

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