There is usually no Capital Gains Tax (CGT) to be paid on the transfer of assets to a spouse or civil partner. However, the gift is still treated as a disposal that has taken place for CGT purposes, on a no- gain no-loss basis. When the asset is ultimately sold, the gain or loss will be calculated using the disposal proceeds less the asset cost when first acquired by the original spouse or civil partner.
There are a few exceptions that couples should be aware of where the relief does not apply. This mainly relates to the use of goods which are sold on by the transferee’s business and for couples that were separated and not living together for the entire tax year when the assets were transferred. Spouses or civil partners that lived together at any point in the tax year when the assets were transferred can still benefit from these rules. If a transfer did not qualify then the asset must be retrospectively valued at the date of the transfer and the transferor is liable for any gain or loss.
There are similar rules for assets that are gifted to charities. However, CGT may be due where an asset is sold to a charity for more than what was paid for it and less than the market value. The gain in this case would be calculated based on what the charity paid rather than the market value of the asset.