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Ask an Adviser: Financial Implications Of Gifting a House

Q&A General, Savings & Investments 06 Oct 2017

I own a two storey house which I live and I own a single storey investment property. I want to gift my daughter the two storey house which I live and move into the investment property. Will my daughter or me have to pay a gift tax?

2 Answers

Vote Answer

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Hi Danny,

You are correct with a "gift tax" - stamp duty is payable on the transfer of property even if it is a gift. The stamp duty is based on a reasonable market valuation of the property done by a real estate agent or accredited valuer. The payer of the stamp duty is the purchaser of the property (your daughter) but you could fund this if you preferred.

There are two options - you could sell your home to her now and stamp duty is payable per previous paragraph. You could consider transferring 50% of the property to her as tenants-in-common (and the stamp duty payable would be halved) and amending your Will nominating your daughter to receive your share upon your death. Then she would own 100% and the second share would not attract stamp duty under the deceased estate transfer.

Another option is to let her live in the property rent free for the next 6 years and you can still transfer the home to your daughter without paying capital gains tax in this period, under the principal place of residence exemption. And yes, stamp duty would be payable at this time. Make sure to receive taxation & legal advice for any of these transfer scenarios.

If you are referring to gifting as part of currently receiving social security payments, then Centrelink is going to count your home as an assessable deprived asset (and your investment property will become your principle place of residence which is not assessable) for the next 5 years. But if you are doing this for access to Centrelink benefits, I would advise that you consider your financial security over receiving the Aged Pension, etc. 

Once you have transferred the property to your daughter, you have no recourse should your relationship break down in the future, etc. Continuing to have an investment property providing you rental income is likely to outweigh the receipt of Centrelink benefits.

General Advice Disclaimer
Note: This advice is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal situation and all of your objectives, your financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions you should seek advice from a professional, qualified financial adviser.
Kathryn Fitch
Kathryn Fitch Evalesco Financial Services Pty Ltd

Adv Rating 96% Cust Rating 99.48% Reviews 12

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Vote Answer

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Hi Danny – there are no gifting taxes.  With respect to gifting, the only thing to worry about is whether you and/or the recipient receive any Centrelink payments as there are specific rules around gifting assets and how much you can gift to another person. 

If this is not an issue, then the main things to give consideration would be capital gains tax, and how you would tackle the capital gains tax on the future sale of the investment property, and stamp duty implications for transferring/changing titles for the two properties.

Finally, if you have other children or potential dependents, you would need to make sure your Will adequately deals with the transfer of your property to your daughter.  If you have shown to financially disadvantage someone who was previously entitled to a share of your estate then that could cause some problems in the future on your death unless you deal with the issues now.

General Advice Disclaimer
Note: This advice is of a general nature only and does not take into account your personal situation and all of your objectives, your financial situation or needs. Before making any decisions you should seek advice from a professional, qualified financial adviser.
Ben Smythe
Ben Smythe Minchin Moore

Adv Rating 100% Cust Rating 93.49% Reviews 52

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