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Accounting News

Simple Mistake on Share Transfer

  A taxpayer who thought he was making a simple and standard family transaction was caught for Capital Gains Tax.

 

A taxpayer, who owned some public company shares, asked the share registry to register the shares in joint names (with the spouse).  The change became obvious to the tax office when the dividends decreased the following year and the taxpayer tried to justify the transfer on the basis that the spouse really owned them jointly from the beginning.

Unfortunately, there was no real substance to the proposition and no hard evidence.  Accordingly, there was a disposal for Capital Gains Tax purposes and a small profit on the increase between the cost and the market value at the time of the transfer.

The taxpayer may have had a motive of saving tax by splitting future dividends, but made a basic mistake by not asking the tax adviser.

The safest assumption to make is that all transfers (of shares/property) need to be declared for Capital Gains tax purposes.

The next step is to calculate if there is a profit or loss and finally whether there may be exemptions (e.g. main residence, small business concessions).