A ‘helpful spouse’ can aid getting the most from the sale of business assets before changes to capital gains tax (CGT) come into force, it has been claimed. Indexation allows anyone getting rid of an asset to increase the base cost of the asset for capital gains purposes, citing the impact of inflation as justification. Mike Warburton, senior tax partner at Grant Thornton, said those wishing to minimise their exposure to the 18% CGT flat rate, which comes into force on 6 April, should consider indexation as a way of saving money. He explained: “The current chancellor plans to abolish indexation along with taper relief on 6 April when he replaces the existing system with a flat 18% rate of CGT, but draft legislation issued in January confirms that it should be possible to retain the benefit of Indexation Relief by giving assets to your spouse. “Many people selling shares, buy to let properties, or other assets over the last ten years, have benefited from the indexation that they had earned. That benefit still exists but only for another two months.” Warburton said that as gifts to a spouse or civil partner did not attract tax, this was a ‘win-win opportunity for those prepared to act quickly’.

© Crimson Business Ltd. 2008