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Thread: Inheritance tax and watches.

  1. #1
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    Inheritance tax and watches.

    Losely watch related, but does anyone know if watches are free from inheritance tax?? Just a casual question for the sake of interest really as I was chatting so someone at work the other day (who is considerably richer than I) who reckoned that the price of shotguns which he is really into - Holland and Holland, Purdey etc - was going through the roof as they are free from inheritance tax and old people are buying them to leave in their wills, the reasoning being that they are a mechanical item. He also reckoned that watches and even possibly cars would fall into this same bracket.
    I can’t see it personally, seems like a load of old cobblers. I have had a quick look for some info on the internet but can’t find anything. Just wondered if anyone knew anything about this or whether it was just the usual man-rubbish talk.


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  2. #2
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    I think technically they are part of your estate - so would be included. Of course if someone slipped the watch into their pocket - who knows - I don’t advocate tax evasion- honestly!

  3. #3
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    Inheritance tax and watches.

    I recall the phrase “ wasting or deprecating , asset “ where mechanical maintenance need to be applied to vintage cares , clocks and horological items as far as death duty application is / was concerned.
    It would be very useful if one of the members could provide a “ timely “ update of the current legal status .
    Thank you to the original poster of this question.


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  4. #4
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    I’m STEP qualified, own a trust company and have done a great deal of IHT planning for clients over the last 30 years. As in any field “expertise” is a relative commodity. I’m not as “expert” as the £1500/hr QCs I go to for advice when my knowledge runs out. But for the purpose of this question I’m “expert” enough to confirm definitively that watches (ditto cars and shotguns) do not benefit from any relief from IHT unless you happen to be a dealer and they are your trading stock.

  5. #5
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Just to add- “machines” like watches and cars are as an earlier poster said treated as wasting assets which means that gains made on selling them are not subject to CGT. But that’s a different tax.

  6. #6
    Grand Master GraniteQuarry's Avatar
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    A lot of folks confuse CGT and IHT: lots of assets are exempt from the former, but very few escape the latter. End of the day IHT is easily defeated with some planning e.g. PETs or via trusts.

    I'll stop the acronyms there

  7. #7
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteQuarry View Post
    A lot of folks confuse CGT and IHT: lots of assets are exempt from the former, but very few escape the latter. End of the day IHT is easily defeated with some planning e.g. PETs or via trusts.

    I'll stop the acronyms there
    Less easily than a decade or two ago, to be honest. When I started my career it was a fairly simple tax but successive policy changes and rafts of new anti-avoidance rules have made it both complex and difficult to avoid.

  8. #8
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    I strongly suspect that the OP’s “old bollocks” conclusion is the correct one.

    I’ll have a look as a matter of interest!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    I strongly suspect that the OP’s “old bollocks” conclusion is the correct one.

    I’ll have a look as a matter of interest!
    *Cobblers*


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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by GraniteQuarry View Post
    End of the day IHT is easily defeated with some planning e.g. PETs or via trusts.
    Not sure it’s easy! It’s no coincidence that the ones who avoid IHT are the super wealthy!

    Also a lot of rich people buy agricultural land and describe them self as farmers to take advantage of reliefs! (Assuming that’s still the case; I’m a bit out of date.)

  11. #11
    Master
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    I’ve known various people over the years that have thought watches and even jewellery are excluded from IHT. They then say they won’t put the information in their Will’s, to which I’ve replied that I take it they don’t insure these items? I don’t know if it happens much, but I guess they only need to ask to see a copy of the home insurance policy to see what items have been individually insured.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piemuncher22 View Post
    *Cobblers*
    😳 I’ve got a mind like a sewer!!

  13. #13
    Master
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    Whether or not IHT is due is dependant on the value of the estate. Jewellery and watches would be regarded as an asset and should be included in the estimate of the value. See the attached link

    https://www.gov.uk/valuing-estate-of...e-estate-value

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Devonian View Post
    I’ve known various people over the years that have thought watches and even jewellery are excluded from IHT. They then say they won’t put the information in their Will’s, to which I’ve replied that I take it they don’t insure these items? I don’t know if it happens much, but I guess they only need to ask to see a copy of the home insurance policy to see what items have been individually insured.
    That would be an interesting development. At the moment of course if something isn't listed in an estate, such as a watch it can 'disappear' for the purposes of IHT.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Miocene View Post
    That would be an interesting development. At the moment of course if something isn't listed in an estate, such as a watch it can 'disappear' for the purposes of IHT.
    Ok, and how does the new "owner" answer the question "where did this come from"?

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by catch21 View Post
    Ok, and how does the new "owner" answer the question "where did this come from"?

    Who are you envisaging - is doing the asking?

  17. #17
    Quote Originally Posted by blackal View Post
    Who are you envisaging - is doing the asking?
    Your own insurance co. if there's a claim, the Inland Revenue if you are self-employed, revenue and customs on the way back into the country. Anyone for whom being inquisitive is part of their role.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David_D View Post
    Not sure it’s easy! It’s no coincidence that the ones who avoid IHT are the super wealthy!

    Definitively wrong. Due to property prices it's extremely common nowadays for people to plan around it and it;s not exactly expensive or complicated in most cases.

    Indeed, only the stupid/negligent fail to plan to avoid IHT if they know their assets are likely large enough to incur it.

  19. #19
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    Go on then, give us some details.

    Quote Originally Posted by Scepticalist View Post
    Definitively wrong. Due to property prices it's extremely common nowadays for people to plan around it and it;s not exactly expensive or complicated in most cases.

    Indeed, only the stupid/negligent fail to plan to avoid IHT if they know their assets are likely large enough to incur it.
    Last edited by David_D; 11th June 2019 at 12:10.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    I’m STEP qualified, own a trust company and have done a great deal of IHT planning for clients over the last 30 years. As in any field “expertise” is a relative commodity. I’m not as “expert” as the £1500/hr QCs I go to for advice when my knowledge runs out. But for the purpose of this question I’m “expert” enough to confirm definitively that watches (ditto cars and shotguns) do not benefit from any relief from IHT unless you happen to be a dealer and they are your trading stock.
    So would the same relief that's given to property apply?
    If I gifted my kids my watch collection, would that leave them free of IHT when I turn my toes up?

  21. #21
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    So would the same relief that's given to property apply?
    If I gifted my kids my watch collection, would that leave them free of IHT when I turn my toes up?
    Evening Dave.

    “Property” is one of the most misused words in the language. The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 itself at section 272 defines “property” as including “rights or interest of any description” - clearly much wider than what has become the everyday usage denoting land and buildings, ie “immovable property” or “real property”.

    There are IHT reliefs for certain categories of property (in the wide sense); notably business and agricultural property. So a working farmhouse or office or shop or factory together with related equipment and stock might qualify as relievable property.

    In the straightforward case of a UK domiciled individual, an outright gift of a watch collection to children would not attract IHT at the time of the gift and would escape IHT altogether if the donor survives the gift by seven years.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    So would the same relief that's given to property apply?
    If I gifted my kids my watch collection, would that leave them free of IHT when I turn my toes up?
    You must have some watch collection to be asking that!


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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    Evening Dave.

    “Property” is one of the most misused words in the language. The Inheritance Tax Act 1984 itself at section 272 defines “property” as including “rights or interest of any description” - clearly much wider than what has become the everyday usage denoting land and buildings, ie “immovable property” or “real property”.

    There are IHT reliefs for certain categories of property (in the wide sense); notably business and agricultural property. So a working farmhouse or office or shop or factory together with related equipment and stock might qualify as relievable property.

    In the straightforward case of a UK domiciled individual, an outright gift of a watch collection to children would not attract IHT at the time of the gift and would escape IHT altogether if the donor survives the gift by seven years.
    Thanks.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by GMC41 View Post
    You must have some watch collection to be asking that!


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    I wish!
    That said, the way values are rising, my BLNR will be worth a million, billion pounds before too long!

  25. #25
    Master RustyBin5's Avatar
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    It’s tax evasion. Plain and simple.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave O'Sullivan View Post
    I wish!
    That said, the way values are rising, my BLNR will be worth a million, billion pounds before too long!
    True 😀

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by RustyBin5 View Post
    It’s tax evasion. Plain and simple.
    Why is it?!

  28. #28
    Because watches are not exempt from inheritance tax, and are therefore taxable as part of the estate.

    If someone were to just take them or not declare them then it's tax evasion.

    Personally I use every tax avoidance method going for IHT as I feel it's a dirty and plain wrong concept.

    Tax avoidance is good planning, evasion is illegal.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomaitch View Post
    Why is it?!
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    Personally I use every tax avoidance method going for IHT as I feel it's a dirty and plain wrong concept.
    As someone wise once said, the difference between tax evasion and tax avoidance is the thickness of a prison wall.

  30. #30
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluehase284 View Post
    Because watches are not exempt from inheritance tax, and are therefore taxable as part of the estate.

    If someone were to just take them or not declare them then it's tax evasion.

    Personally I use every tax avoidance method going for IHT as I feel it's a dirty and plain wrong concept.

    Tax avoidance is good planning, evasion is illegal.

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    Unfortunately HMRC these days is pursuing a policy of blurring the line between legal tax planning and criminal evasion as a matter of policy. A good tax adviser will work with a client to assess the problem, identify possible solutions and ensure the client is aware of the risks inherent in any solution under consideration.

    As to your assessment of the general policy of taxing the gifting of wealth, I couldn’t agree more!

  31. #31
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    As a bit of a champagne socialist I generally support taxing the wealthy more, however this is on the proviso that it goes to benefit the general population, i.e. education (both basic and further), health care, care of the disabled and elderly, infrastructure, social housing, etc. Unfortunately due to political grafters and general human nature I also hold the view that if I earned something it's mine and no bugger is going to nick bits of it off of me to spend on their expenses, pay-rises or propping up their floundering party by bribing another one to help them out.
    This cognitive dissonance gives me a headache sometimes.

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