Tax 

Can I transfer shares to my spouse to reduce our tax bill?

Frank Nash

Can I transfer shares to my spouse to reduce our tax bill?

Q: I own shares in a private company that I have held for 15 years. They sit outside any wrapper. Dividend income from the shares is somewhat erratic, but can amount to about £10,000 in a tax year and is on an upward trajectory. As a higher-rate taxpayer, would I be able to transfer my shares to my wife who is a basic-rate taxpayer in order to reduce our joint tax bill? Is there an alternative course of action I could take to reduce tax paid on the dividend income and any capital gain I may ultimately make. 

Alan Richmond

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