tax on property transfer during a divorce

Tax Implications of Property Transfers During a Divorce

If you are residing in the UK and you have decided to proceed with divorce or separation from your partner, you must consider the tax on property transfer during a divorce. You will have to handle while you are transferring the property to the name of your partner. If you wish to have the benefit of tax exemptions, it will depend on the time in which you decide to proceed with the formal separation or divorce. A few tax exemptions are only available to claim when the tax year ends. So, your timing for proceeding the formal way is very important in this regard.

There are a few other matters that you should consider during the process of formal separation. This might help to reduce your tax bills. This includes the implication of SDLT, and CGT when you are disposing of or transferring your property. Before you begin the process, have a clear understanding of how can divorce affect your capital gains and how is HMRC functions to determine the date of your divorce or property transfer.


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How can Divorce or Separation Affect Capital Gains?

It is possible that your capital gains tax will go higher if the value of your property goes higher at the time of sale or when you are disposing of it. Anything higher than the original value will affect the same on CGT. This case is different when you are selling your main home, you will not be bound to pay capital gains tax. However, when it comes to a formal separation or divorce of a couple, the process can get affected by this.

We all are aware of the fact that when you are living in a civil partnership or you are a married couple, this is simple to transfer your main home property to the name of your partner or spouse. Also, it is important to know that there is no such liability of capital gains tax in such a scenario. The question that arises here is about the rate of capital gains. Well, this depends on the taxable income you are making in a month. The type of your property that is to be disposed of will matter as well in his case.


Tax on Property Transfer During Divorce

Several people confuse the fact that the property can not be transferred once the formal separation or divorce is in the process. However, that is not the case at all. This is simply allowed for you to transfer your property and even dispose it of during the divorce proceedings. The same is the case with any other asset that you want to sell or dispose of during this procedure.

However, what is important to consider here is the time when you begin the process of transferring the assets and the divorce proceedings. The end of the tax year is advisable and considered to be the most suitable time for you to avoid the increase in CGT.


Capital Gains Tax and Property Transfer to the Spouse – Is CGT Payable?

During the period of an intact marriage, if you aim to transfer any property asset to your spouse’s name, there is no such liability of paying CGT. On the other hand, if you get into a formal separation and aim to transfer the property in a different tax year, you will have to pay CGT.

If the transfer is occurring in the same tax year when the formal separation or the divorce proceedings were done, there will be no loss no gain if transferring the property to your spouse’s name. Let’s take an example f a couple who has decided to proceed with divorce in the tax year 2022-23, any property transfer till 5th April 2023 will be at no gain no loss rule. This will not make any of them liable to pay CGT. This rule will not apply after this tax year. Because a different tax year for property transfer will be applicable to the CGT.


How Does HMRC Determine the Date of Divorce and Property Transfer?

You need to consider the CGT when you are deemed to get separated from one another. Only if the following points are considered:

  • The separation is done according to the court order.
  • It is mentioned in the agreement of separation.
  • The circumstances are relevant to a permanent separation.

Once HMRC has decided the date of separation, the property transfer will be done and the market value of the asset will be considered. The case remains the same for the civil partners as well as the married couple. If the market value of the assets is higher, there is a chance of a higher rate in the case of CGT. As mentioned above, the higher rate will depend on the time of formal separation has occurred and the tax year should be considered as well.


The Bottom Line

Now that you have gathered a fair amount of information about the tax on property transfer during a divorce, we can bring the discussion towards wrapping up. Although the process of a formal separation or divorce proceedings is harsh between two people, there comes the factor of CGT that makes it more difficult to handle for them. However, if the tax year and the ting of the occurrence are handled well, there will be a win-win situation for them. We hope these few minutes of reading have helped you to develop a better understanding.


Get in touch with one of our experts if you are stuck with your tax on property transfer during a divorce. We will ensure to provide instant help.


Disclaimer: The information about the tax on property transfer during divorce provided in this blog includes text and graphics in general. This does not intend to disregard any of the professional advice.

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