Inheritance tax and capital gains tax (for Advanced Taxation - United Kingdom (ATX-UK) (P6))

Part 4 of 4

This is the Finance Act 2017 version of this article. It is relevant for candidates sitting the Advanced Taxation – United Kingdom (ATX-UK) (P6) exam in the period 1 June 2018 to 31 March 2019. Candidates sitting ATX-UK (P6) after 31 March 2019 should refer to the Finance Act 2018 version of this article (to be published on the ACCA website in 2019).

From the September 2018 session, a new naming convention is being introduced for all of the exams in the ACCA Qualification, so from that session, the name of the exam will be Advanced Taxation – United Kingdom (ATX-UK). June 2018 is the first session of a new exam year for tax, when the exam name continues to be P6 Advanced Taxation (UK). Since this name change takes place during the validity of this article, ATX-UK (P6) has been used throughout.

Having looked in detail at the Edward Teach scenario we are now going to summarise our findings. This can be tricky to do where we do not have all of the information. For example, we do not know when Edward Teach will die or whether he is an employee of Adventure Ltd. You must ensure that any summary you prepare in the exam brings together the fundamental aspects of your answer and then make judgements based on your findings: this is not easy to do.

Edward Teach – Summary of position

 CGT liability at
time of gift
IHT liability
on death


  Lifetime gift

Edward is an employee:

Maximum liability of £10,000

Edward is not an employee:

Maximum liability of £20,000

Possibly significant if death within seven years.

Falls as time period between the gift and death increases due to taper relief.

  DeathNil – No CGT on deathSmall (due to BPR)


  Lifetime gift

Nil – Exempt asset

Possibly significant if death within seven years.

Falls as time period between the gift and death increases due to taper relief.


Nil – No CGT on death


It is clear from this summary that, purely from a tax point of view, Edward should give Anne the yacht rather than the shares.

There will be no tax at the time of the gift. In addition, there will be no tax at the time of death provided Edward survives the gift by seven years. Even if Edward were to die within seven years of the gift, the amount of IHT due on death is likely to be less than the amount due if the yacht were held by Edward until death due to the availability of taper relief. Before concluding on this it would be necessary to consider the chargeable transfers made by Edward during the seven years prior to the proposed gift and the likelihood of the yacht increasing in value.

The situation regarding a gift of the shares is not so straightforward. A lifetime gift will result in a CGT liability of up to £20,000. There is also the possibility of an IHT liability of 40% of the fall in value of Edward’s estate if Edward were to die within three years of the gift. However, there would be no IHT liability if he were to survive the gift by at least seven years.

Retaining the shares until death would avoid the CGT liability but would guarantee an IHT liability up to a maximum of 3.2% of the value of the shares.

Accordingly, a lifetime gift of the shares would be a gamble by Edward. If he were to survive the gift by seven years, the total tax due would be CGT of either £10,000 or £20,000 depending on whether or not he is an employee of Adventure Ltd. If he were to die within three years of the gift, the total tax due is likely to be considerable due to the IHT payable. His alternative is to hold on to the shares and pay a relatively small amount of IHT out of his death estate.

Finally, Edward should be advised that an insurance policy could be taken out on his life in order to satisfy any future IHT liability arising in respect of a lifetime gift.


The following general conclusions can be drawn from the above.

  1. IHT – Assets which are subject to IHT but not CGT (ie those which are exempt from CGT) can be planned for by reference to IHT only. From an IHT point of view it is, of course, advantageous to give away assets as soon as possible as this opens up the possibility of surviving the gift by seven years or, failing that, the possibility of taper relief. It is particularly important to gift assets that are expected to increase in value as the value on which IHT is calculated is fixed at the time of the gift.
  2. IHT – Care must be taken when advising on assets that qualify for business property relief or agricultural property relief due to the need for the recipient to hold the assets until the death of the donor in order for the relief to be available on the donor’s death. If it is clear from the facts that the recipient intends to sell the assets gifted, there is likely to be a significant difference between the IHT due on death within seven years of the lifetime gift and that due on the asset when comprised within the death estate.
  3. CGT – It is not always advantageous to claim gifts holdover relief as this is only a deferral of the gain and thus impacts on the recipient’s base cost for future disposals. Also, the relief is not always available; in particular, unless the gift is to a trust, the assets must qualify for the relief.

Written by a member of the ATX-UK (P6) examining team

The comments in this article do not amount to advice on a particular matter and should not be taken as such. No reliance should be placed on the content of this article as the basis of any decision. The authors and ACCA expressly disclaim all liability to any person in respect of any indirect, incidental, consequential or other damages relating to the use of this article.