Small Woodland Owners' Group

Death and Taxes

Paperwork, grants, legal issues

Re: Death and Taxes

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:08 am

I'm not aware that there's any way for the various government agency's to find out if you do own a smallish bit of land, unless you were either in receipt of grants for it or making sufficient income from it that it has a mention in tax returns. From a moral point of view, if it keeps you fit and happy and you aren't getting income from it, why should it be taken into account at all? I'd be tempted to accidentally forget to mention it (Crohn's disease is awful, my sympathies- I think 'Dynamo' also has it, but isn't one of the symptoms acute forgetfulness? ;) ).

My 'pension fund / savings' consists of various tangible physical assets. They give me pleasure, appreciate steadily and are not officially recorded or subject to any regulation. If I need money, I can sell one. If I have spare, I buy another. What they are worth and have many I have is known only to me, and I consider them 'property', not cash or a declarable investment. It also means if any financial institutions go t*ts up, we don't have a repeat of losing our savings. - We did have a substantial number of RBS shares which lost 99% of their value virtually overnight. As the years pass by I increasingly have zero trust in governments and financial institutions and think we are largely on our own.
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Re: Death and Taxes

Postby Meadowcopse » Wed Feb 19, 2014 12:17 pm

National Insurance Number is linked to personal land transactions and failure to declare capital assets is an offence.
If the land has any agricultural registration (Rural Payments Agency) - even if not receiving single farm payment, again the national Insurance Number is recorded.

If I come to a mutual agreement with my employer, then we part company and I have the means of setting up a small income and operating the plot in a way that covers costs. It is just for the period I am 'employed but unpaid' that there is appropriate (but possibly unnecessary) form filling regarding third parties.

I actually think (not necessarily deliberate) forces and markets collude to make any form of alternative and robustly independent lifestyle increasingly difficult.
If someone else can't make something off the back of you, then you aren't 'normal' - The moment you lapse back into normality, then you incur a forfeit (regardless of putting a lot into the system)...
:-)
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Re: Death and Taxes

Postby oldclaypaws » Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:19 pm

I think its quite legal to transfer an asset for free to a family member or trusted friend as a gift. If so, that could be done as a temporary solution to avoid being seen as having assets ?

After I had a financial 'wobble' in the 90's ( brought on by the inflexibility & aggression of a financial institution, and Mr Lamont putting base rates up to 15%) we ensured the house was in Mrs Paws name. That way whatever might have happened to me wouldn't leave us without a home.

I was able to win the moral argument with 'said institution later on, after they went bust. They wouldn't increase my insurance cover to the requested level, saying 'I was too much of a risk'. Excuse me, I retorted, "you're calling me a risk when you've just gone bankrupt and cost we taxpayers £28 Billion to keep afloat?".
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Re: Death and Taxes

Postby Meadowcopse » Fri Feb 28, 2014 1:22 pm

Employer got all their calculations and interpretations wrong - written and phone call apologies from senior HR staff.
Issue has gone away until I hit the Statutory Sick Pay limit threshold (possibly soon), or get well.
Will update if I reapply for ESA and the DWP get interested in land ownership (capital) and any valuations, potential pitfalls etc.
As mentioned further up the thread - this is a potential issue for anyone with a long term illness or potentially having to go into a care home.
Further issues would revolve around any type of joint ownership and potential sale of a share in ownership...
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Re: Death and Taxes

Postby Stephen1 » Sat Mar 01, 2014 8:34 pm

[quote="oldclaypaws"]I think its quite legal to transfer an asset for free to a family member or trusted friend as a gift. If so, that could be done as a temporary solution to avoid being seen as having assets ?

[quote]

This is quite true - But the catch is that you then have to live for a further seven years. If you die within seven years of the 'gift' then the asset is treated as part of your estate on a sliding scale dependant on how many of the seven years you survived. Obviously if this were not the case whenever anyone got a terminal diagnosis they would immediately transfer their assets to other family members to avoid any death duties.

The second issue is that if you can be seen to be still benefitting from the asset in substantially the same way as before you made the 'gift' then irrespective of whose name the land registry document bares the asset will still be treated as yours for both tax purposes and social security payments. Of course the government agencies involved don't have the resources to police this fully... I imagine this forum isn't the place to discuss the politics or moralities of such matters?
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Re: Death and Taxes

Postby Meadowcopse » Thu May 22, 2014 5:08 pm

It looks like a mutually agreeable outcome has been arrived at with my employer and I haven't had to revisit potential applications for ESA and DWP valuations on 'capital' that is my plot.
This is still an area of potential complexity for anyone with a long-term illness that is entitled to claim benefits for disability etc.

The whole issue arose because my plot is not the same property parcel as my main residence and this issue will affect others if faced with ESA claims, or for themselves or a partner requiring a care home arrangement.

I know a couple of people who have woodland directly behind the house they live in, but on a different set of property deeds. They too would face the same problem unless, your whole estate became re-registered as one land parcel with The Land Registry (This shouldn't affect management schemes / woodland grants as the eligible plot would be detailed with an agricultural holding number on the separate Rural Land Register / adminsistered via the Forestry Commission with area marked on the management plan).
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