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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Capital Gains Tax and Divorce

Navigating a divorce can be a challenging experience, especially when it comes to understanding the financial implications. Among these, the impact of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is often overlooked or misunderstood. In this blog, we uncover five lesser-known aspects of how CGT applies in the context of divorce.

1. Transferring assets can trigger Capital Gains Tax

Commonly, assets are transferred between spouses as part of a divorce settlement. It’s a little-known fact that these transfers can potentially trigger a CGT event. However, if the transfer is because of a court order or formal agreement, CGT may be deferred until the asset is later sold.

2. Capital Gains Tax exemptions for the family home

One of the significant reliefs in divorce cases is the CGT exemption for the family home, or main residence. If you transfer the family home to your spouse, this transfer is typically exempt from CGT, provided the home was your main residence and you or your spouse continue to live in it.

Husband on the phone after house sold in divorce settlement discussing capital gains tax

3. Timing matters for asset transfer

The timing of asset transfers during a divorce can greatly impact CGT liabilities. Transfers made under a court order or formal agreement during the marriage or within 12 months of divorce are treated more favorably in terms of CGT.

4. Valuation is key in asset division

Proper valuation of assets at the time of transfer is critical. The market value of an asset on the date of transfer is used to calculate any future CGT liability when the recipient eventually sells the asset. This valuation ensures a fair and equitable division of assets.

5. Special rules for jointly owned investments

For jointly owned investments, the rules change a bit. When these assets are divided in a divorce, each party is treated as disposing of their interest in the asset, which may result in a CGT event. Understanding the specifics of these rules is crucial to managing potential tax liabilities.

Final thoughts

Divorce proceedings bring a host of financial considerations, with Capital Gains Tax being a significant factor. Awareness of these lesser-known aspects of CGT in the context of divorce can help in making more informed decisions and potentially reduce tax burdens. It’s always advisable to seek professional advice to navigate the complexities of CGT during divorce proceedings, ensuring that both parties achieve a fair and tax-efficient settlement. You can also use TaxTank to manage your capital gains tax when selling during a divorce settlement. TaxTank calculates CGT in 3 simple steps and makes record keeping a breeze. Try now for 14 days free.


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