Friday 23 February 2018

€31.5m lost to tax loophole as wealthy families transfer valuable homes to their children

The dwelling-house exemption is a loophole in inheritance tax
The dwelling-house exemption is a loophole in inheritance tax
Charlie Weston

Charlie Weston

Hundreds of wealthy families have managed to transfer valuable homes to their children without paying any inheritance tax, it has emerged.

Some 660 families exploited a loophole that has since been closed, figures from the Revenue Commissioners reveal.

The so-called dwelling house exemption allowed people to pass properties on to family members without incurring capital acquisitions tax, which is levied at a rate of 33pc.

Homes worth €216m were transferred from parents to children between 2011 and 2016, according to data compiled by Revenue. This saw 660 properties gifted to children by their well-off parents.

The loss of tax on the gifts to children amounts to €31.5m, according to calculations by the tax authority.

Revenue officials are known to have felt the exemption was "much abused".

The exemption allowed parents to gift a property to a son or daughter without having to pay gift or inheritance tax.

The exemption also applied to a brother or sister inheriting a property when one of them died.

Irish Independent

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