How to Gift Shares to…

How to Gift Shares to Family? Gifting Shares to Family in the UK

A gift is something that everyone loves. Generally, when we think about gifts, it is often souvenirs, chocolates, soft toys, clothes, and other utility things. However, it should be extra special when you plan to gift anything to your family. 

How about gifting shares to your family? Yes, gifting shares to your family members, be it your spouse or your children, is a great idea to familiarise them with the world of investing while also educating them about finances.

There can be many reasons behind gifting shares to the family. Some of the most common reasons include: 

  • To financially support your spouse
  • To help your children fund their education
  • To teach your child how to manage family finances better and build wealth
  • To hand over the reins of your company to your family member
  • To reduce your household tax burden (tax efficiency)

The best part of gifting shares to the family is that it is free of Capital Gains Tax (CGT) in the UK. Yes, you heard it right! The HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) exempts you from CGT when you gift shares to your spouse. However, the same is not applicable for gifting shares to the children. If you are gifting shares to your children, the HMRC will tax the shares.

HOW TO GIFT SHARE TO YOUR FAMILY IN THE UK?

There are two simple steps involved in the process of gifting shares to your family.

Step 1: The completion and signing of the share transfer form

You have to complete and sign the share transfer form, also known as the stock transfer form or J30 form. The form requires various details about the giver to be filled, including:

  • Name
  • Company’s name
  • Identification proof
  • Address
  • Class of shares
  • Number of shares to be transferred
  • Reason for the transferring of shares

The form also requires various details about the recipient, such as:

  • Recipient’s name
  • Address
  • ID proof

After completing the form by filling in all the information, you should sign the form.

Since the transfer of shares, in this case, comprises a gift, you are not required to provide any certificate to the HMRC for payment of stamp duty or stamping purposes. 

The best part is that you start getting the benefits of gifting the shares immediately.   

Step 2: Submission of the completed form with any attached certificates to the company

Depending on the firm or the company from which you have bought the shares for gifting, you can submit the completed form through email, company portal/account, or physically. It is better to directly ask the company the best and easiest way to submit the form.

After receiving, the company officials inspect the share transfer form properly. If there is any mistake, the company officials will notify you to correct it. After that, you will have to wait for the approval of the transfer of shares from the company directors. 

At times, during the processing of the form, you may be asked to add some essential documents, including those that prove the ownership of the shares that you are gifting to your family.

On approval, the company will issue a new share certificate in the name of the recipient shareholder. This process may take two to eight weeks.

Although the share transfer process can be done easily by yourself, still if you are short of time or feel that any of the steps are confusing or you have trouble dealing with financial matters, you can always consult your financial advisor.

CAN I GIFT THE SHARES TO MY FAMILY AS A SURPRISE?

Keeping the gifting shares a surprise can be difficult as it depends on the company or the broker’s policies. During the share transfer process, the recipient can be called to provide or verify their personal details or sign some documents. So, it may not be possible to keep it a surprise.   

If you still want to surprise your family, you may find a different way with your broker or your company. Another way is to buy the shares for yourself and transfer them later to your family. However, this may not surprise your loved ones, as in this case, they are not the immediate recipients. 

WHAT ARE THE TAX CONSEQUENCES OF GIFTING SHARES TO THE FAMILY IN THE UK?

The taxation, if any, depends on whom you are gifting your shares to. Here’s a brief guide for your information: 

Capital Gains Tax (CGT)

As we have already discussed, if you are gifting shares to someone other than your spouse or charity, it means either you are selling or transferring them. In such cases, you are required to pay CGT.

Inheritance Tax

If you are transferring or gifting shares to your children, it is treated as a gift for inheritance tax. In such a case, if the transferor (the parent) dies within seven years of transferring the shares, the recipient or transferee (the child) would be responsible for inheritance tax.      

The amount of due tax would be calculated by the number of years between the date of the gift and the date of the death. This is based on a sliding scale, better known as Taper Relief, which indicates: 

  • 40% for less than three years
  • 32% for three to four years
  • 24% for four to five years
  • 15% for five to six years
  • 8% for six to seven years

Furthermore, if you transfer the shares to your children at a value lesser than the market, the difference between the market value and the sale price is often treated as a gift by the HMRC. This kind of gift is referred to as Potentially Exempt Transfer (PET), subjected to standard inheritance tax rules.

Hope this article provided the necessary information and answered the frequently asked questions regarding gifting shares to family in the UK.

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